Jeremy Corbyn is facing a mutiny over Labour’s failure to expel Ken Livingstone from the party over his remarks about Hitler and Zionism.
The former mayor of London refused to apologise after a disciplinary panel found him guilty of bringing the party into disrepute – but failed to expel him, instead ruling he will be suspended from holding office for a year.
He will still be free to vote on party matters and attend meetings.
Jewish Labour members and MPs rounded on Mr Corbyn for failing to push for a stricter punishment.
Michael Dugher, vice chairman of the Labour friends of Israel group, called the decision an “embarrassing fudge”.
He said: "Ken Livingstone should be kicked out for good. Years of supposed long service and closeness to the leadership do not entitle you to a free pass when it comes to anti-Semitism.
"Labour have spent 12 months investigating what to every sensible person is an open-and-shut case. This looks like an embarrassing fudge. The Jewish Board of Deputies said it was anti-Semitism, as did the Holocaust Education Trust, the Jewish Labour Movement and the chief rabbi.
"Is the party really saying it knows more about anti-Semitism than the chief rabbi? The current reluctance of the party to apparently take swift and severe action against Livingstone does us no credit whatsoever."
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said: "This was a chance for the Labour Party to show that it would not tolerate wilful and unapologetic baiting of the Jewish community, by shamefully using the Holocaust as a tool with which to inflict the maximum amount of offence.
"Worryingly, the party has yet again failed to show that it is sufficiently serious about tackling the scourge of anti-Semitism.
Labour's commitment to finding the option that irritates everyone is second-to-none.— Stephen Bush (@stephenkb) April 4, 2017
"The Labour Party has failed the Jewish community, it has failed its members and it has failed all those who believe in zero tolerance of anti-Semitism."
The Holocaust Educational Trust said the decision shows Labour under Mr Corbyn does not take anti-Semitism seriously.
Its chief executive, Karen Pollock, said: “Ken Livingstone has continued to cause significant pain and great offence to the Jewish community with his persistent rewriting of history. We have spent over a year now having to tolerate misinformation and falsehoods about the Holocaust – including during this hearing.
I don't want to leave the party I love to the low lifes who think this kind of thing is ok https://t.co/VSaASNWZxu— John Woodcock (@JWoodcockMP) April 4, 2017
“This verdict is a slap on the wrist for a serial offender. That a mainstream political party would consider these views to be welcome within their ranks simply demonstrates that anti-Semitism is not taken as seriously as all other forms of racism and prejudice.”
The Jewish Labour Movement said: “A one-year suspension is insufficient for a party that claims zero tolerance on anti-Semitism.
Ken Livingstone has got off with only being suspended from Labour for another year. How many will now leave Labour because of this?— Tim Roll-Pickering (@timrollpickerin) April 4, 2017
“This is a betrayal of our party’s values. One-year suspension allows for a revolving door for repeat offenders.”
After the private hearing in Westminster, a relaxed Mr Livingstone said it had been like “sitting through a court in North Korea” and called the allegations made against him “nonsense”.
Labour always contrive to design a worse outcome than seems possible.— George Eaton (@georgeeaton) April 4, 2017
Asked if he would like to say sorry for the hurt he has caused Jewish members of the party he replied: “If I had said Hitler was a Zionist I would have said sorry. You can’t apologise for telling the truth.
“I apologise for the offence caused by those Labour MPs who lied and said I called Hitler a Zionist.”
I can't help but think that if Ken's racism was targeted at someone other than the Jews, he would've been expelled. Shameful day for Labour https://t.co/GpKUvYs728— Kat Benjamin (@KatBenjy) April 4, 2017
So much for zero tolerance approach to antisemitism - this is a terrible betrayal of Jewish Labour supporters and our values. pic.twitter.com/PEgPMQgkoM— Wes Streeting MP (@wesstreeting) April 4, 2017
What happened to Labour's zero tolerance of antisemitism?! He's consistently offensive yet gets away with it. Should've been expelled https://t.co/QitAgPFiFy— Chris Evans MP (@ChrisEvansMP) April 4, 2017
A new low for my party this evening. Appalling decision. Why is antisemitism being treated differently from any other form of racism?— Luciana Berger (@lucianaberger) 4 April 2017
Later on Newsnight, Mr Livingstone added: "There were these series of lies and smears that I said Hitler was a Zionist. If I'd said Hitler was a Zionist I wouldn't just apologise, I would ask my doctor if it wasn't the first sign of dementia."
The former Labour politician said he was still considering a judicial review after claiming that the hearing was timed to inflict maximum damage on the party during the local election campaign.
A Jewish Labour movement source sends me a frustrated text responding to the decision: "Ken is a f***ing disgrace"— Ross Kempsell (@rosskempsell) April 4, 2017
Really don't understand this-what more does he have to say or do to be told there is no place for him in labour movement ? Very troubling. https://t.co/gjvFWeeMOQ— stellacreasy (@stellacreasy) April 4, 2017
Absolutely ridiculous. Why has this man not been expelled?! https://t.co/C3DDUciE2v— Tulip Siddiq (@TulipSiddiq) April 4, 2017
Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush said: “Relations between the Labour Party and the Jewish community have reached a new all-time low. It is a year since Ken Livingstone’s outrageous comments on Hitler and Zionism.
“After 12 months of indecision, despite finding him guilty of all three charges, the Labour Party has decided to suspend him from holding office for just one year despite his shameless, disgraceful and tendentious attempts to link Zionism to Nazism. All we can conclude from this hopelessly wrong decision is that the party has an enduring problem with anti-Semitism to which it is unwilling to face up.”
Absolutely right Wes. A disgraceful decision. A very bad day for our party and for anti fascism. https://t.co/pfk60WjS48— Mike Gapes (@MikeGapes) April 4, 2017
Mr Corbyn took action against the former Labour MP last year after he invoked Hitler to defend a colleague over anti-Semitic remarks.
In a radio interview he claimed that Hitler had supported Zionism in the 1930s before he “went mad and ended up killing six million Jews”.
John Mann MP was filmed calling Mr Livingstone a “Nazi apologist” after he publicly defended his remarks about Hitler and repeated them in TV and radio interviews.
Wes Streeting, a Labour MP, said: “Today was an opportunity for the Labour Party and its leadership to send a clear signal that our Party will never be a safe haven for anti-Semitism of any kind. They’ve blown it.”
Addressing Mr Livingstone directly on BBC Newsnight, Mr Streeting said: "You're poor judgement, your crass remarks and your lack of apology brings the Labour party into disrepute."
He added: "It's morally wrong."
Mr Streeting said: "We are meant to be launching Labour's campaign for the local elections today and instead of talking about the big issues in local elections we're talking about Ken's bizarre fascination with the 1930s and it is damaging the Labour party and its reputation."
Commenting on the decision Labour peer Shami Chakrabarti, who conducted the party's investigation into Antisemitism, said he outcome shows Labour has the "ability to look at itself fairly and carefully in the mirror in more difficult times, however painful."
She added: "I hope people might now revisit my report and remind themselves of better ways to argue about difficult issues."
The report was controversial after allegations emerged that Ms Chakrabarti had conversations about a Labour peerage before agreeing to act as chair.
In a statement the Labour party said: "The National Constitutional Committee (NCC) of the Labour Party has today found that all three charges of a breach of the Labour Party's rule 2.1.8 by Ken Livingstone have been found proved.
"The NCC consequently determined that the sanction for the breach of Labour Party rules will be suspension from holding office and representation within the Labour Party for two years.
"Taking account of the period of administrative suspension already served the period of suspension will end on 27 April 2018.
"The Labour Party will make no further comment on this matter."
Mr Livingstone told reporters that he would have been “angry” if he had been expelled for the comments and warned that there are “double standards” which allow MPs to make similar remarks without being disciplined.