Labour 'betraying' Jewish community over Livingstone anti-Semitism row, says PM

Jason Farrell, Senior Political Correspondent

Theresa May has accused Labour of "betraying" the Jewish community by not expelling Ken Livingstone from the party.

The Prime Minister said the party had "revealed the depths to which it has now sunk" by letting the former London mayor "off the hook" over accusations of anti-Semitism.

Mrs May launched a savage attack on Jeremy Corbyn's party as she launched the Conservatives' campaign for next month's local elections.

She said Labour was now "totally out of touch with the concerns of the British people" and a "long way from the common, centre ground of British politics today".

Mrs May added that under Mr Corbyn, Labour had become a party that "indulges its own ideological obsessions".

She said it was "a Labour party which just this week revealed the depths to which it has now sunk, betraying the Jewish community in our country by letting Ken Livingstone off the hook".

"It could not be clearer that the Labour party is now a long way away from the common, centre ground of British politics today," she continued.

:: Livingstone unrepentant over Hitler remarks

It comes after Labour's Constitutional Committee suspended Mr Livingstone from the party on Tuesday, rather than expelling him, over comments he made suggesting Adolf Hitler supported Zionism.

After 100 Labour MPs signed a statement saying the decision was "not done in our name and we will not allow it to go unchecked", Mr Corbyn announced the party's ruling National Executive Committee would investigate him again - this time over his "grossly insensitive" comments since the disciplinary action.

Mr Livingstone told Sky News he is "quite happy to go through another big inquiry" and was unrepentant about his comments, claiming they are based on historical fact.

The Labour leader is facing a catastrophic local election and predictions by election experts show the party losing up to 125 seats. Both the Tories and Lib Dems are expected to make gains of 100, while UKIP is also predicted to lose seats - up to 90.

Mrs May attacked all other political parties in her speech, accusing the Lib Dems of just wanting to "re-run the EU referendum" and UKIP of being "too divided" to represent ordinary working people.

She said the "tunnel-vision nationalisms" of the SNP and Plaid Cymru were "divisive".

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