Ken Livingstone unrepentant over Hitler remarks amid fresh Labour probe

Ken Livingstone has told Sky News he is "quite happy to go through another big inquiry" after Labour launched a fresh probe into his "grossly insensitive" behaviour.

On Tuesday, the former London mayor was handed a suspension from the party for repeatedly claiming Adolf Hitler supported Zionism in the 1930s - a decision that was branded "shameful" by deputy leader Tom Watson.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn announced the party's National Executive Committee would investigate Mr Livingstone again - this time over his "grossly insensitive" comments since the disciplinary action.

However, Mr Livingstone has stood by his remarks and told Sky News he "simply stated a historical fact".

He said: "Everybody was expecting me to be expelled from the Labour Party and we had three days of hearings ... and then at the last minute they decided no.

"I think the only reason for that is their solicitor and barrister was saying to them 'look, if you expel Ken Livingstone when he was simply stating historical fact and he goes to judicial review, a judge is going to strike that down and we'll look like idiots'".

Mr Livingstone claimed the issue had been "whipped up by right-wing Labour MPs", adding: "I've been overwhelmed by the number of Jewish people who have come up to me and said 'don't these MPs know their history?'"

Announcing the fresh investigation, Mr Corbyn said the 71-year-old had "failed to acknowledge or apologise for the hurt he has caused".

He said: "Many people are understandably upset that he has continued to make offensive remarks which could open him to further disciplinary action."

Mr Livingstone was initially suspended for a year last April for bringing the Labour Party into disrepute.

He came under fire after defending suspended Labour MP Naz Shah over social media comments she posted suggesting Israel should be relocated to the US.

Mr Livingstone said: "When Hitler won his election in 1932, his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel.

"He was supporting Zionism - this before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews."

Mr Watson said it is "incomprehensible" that members of a disciplinary panel found the veteran left-winger "guilty of such serious charges, and then concluded that he can remain a member of the Labour Party".

Meanwhile, Labour's shadow attorney general Shami Chakrabarti said she was "horrified" by the way Mr Livingstone had behaved in the aftermath of the latest suspension.

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