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Last Updated: Friday, 25 February, 2005, 09:33 GMT
Has Livingstone done enough over Nazi jibe?
Ken Livingstone has said he did not mean to cause offence over his Nazi remark to a Jewish reporter, but will not apologise to the Daily Mail group.

The Standards Board for England have launched a formal investigation into the London Mayor's remarks, after he likened an Evening Standard reporter to a "concentration camp guard".

The government watchdog will consider whether the mayor breached the Code of Conduct of the Greater London Authority.

Since his comments two weeks ago Tony Blair, a range of politicians from different parties and Jewish community leaders have called for Mr Livingstone to apologise.

Should Ken Livingstone have apologised fully for his remarks? Is his expression of regret to the Jewish community enough? Do his remarks bring the controversy to an end?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

Having read his statement in full there are parts I agree with. In my opinion journalists have a hugely inflated opinion of themselves and use their media outlets for personal vendetta. Well done to Ken for having the guts to stand up to a media group, where most politicians would have jumped through hoops for them.
David Newton, Oxford, UK

An apology should be personal and meant. If Ken Livingstone is satisfied he has nothing to apologise for then so be it. Any apology would just be to satisfy the self-righteous and have no real meaning.
Jon, Cardiff, UK

Having heard the tape I cannot see how the reporter is at fault, he asked the Mayor a fair question, if Mr Livingstone did not want to answer it he should have said no comment and walked away. If the Mayor cannot control his tongue in front of the media then perhaps he should reconsider his position.
Carole, England

I'm Jewish and sometimes find Ken Livingstone irksome in the way he acts politically. I agree with his comments about the Mail and the Standard and their history However, while I find his remarks to the reporter rude and over the top, I do not, for one moment, believe they were anti-Semitic. But I do believe Ken should apologise for being rude.
Martin Mallin, Rayleigh, UK

Ken has nothing to apologise for. I didn't vote for him in last year's election but I am now a strong supporter. Thank goodness someone in politics is brave and articulate enough to battle against the self-serving media.
Rohan Grove, Hendon, London

Ken Livingstone will not apologise. As a politician, controversy will come as a result of anything he says. Therefore he cannot afford to compromise his belief on one issue and risk having to do the same on other matters. Whilst his comments were undoubtedly insensitive, he must be less quick to use his arguably audacious verbal style in the future.
William Phipps, Hornchurch UK

I can't believe that Tony Blair got involved and sided with the gutter press
Phil, UK
Why should Ken apologise? The Daily Mail Group never apologises about their far-right scare mongering do they? I can't believe that Tony Blair got involved and sided with the gutter press. Tony wouldn't apologise for taking this country to war but insists that Ken should apologise for offending a bigoted press.
Phil, UK

So I can now tell the kids if you don't like anybody you can call them what you want. It doesn't matter if the name calling is offensive to anybody. Good role model Ken!
Trevor Tucker, Norfolk UK

I've never liked Ken Livingstone before but I have much more respect for him as a result of the stand he has taken. He is quite right. Now perhaps you could move on to reporting something significant?
Anne Phillips, London

Ken is no longer just a shop steward mouthing off to his mates in the tea break room; he's supposed to act like the Mayor of London. And in my opinion, he shouldn't be Mayor.
Steven McDaniel, Sand Springs, OK, USA

Mr Livingstone is a disgrace and has no sense of right or wrong, and certainly has no right to deflect from his outrageous comments by trying to blame the Mail group
Ron Innes, St Neots England

Problem is this man represents the capital. He casts a very bad image and I doubt if he impressed the IOC.
Billy

Ken's offence, if there is one, is to criticise (heaven forbid!) a journalist. I'm sick and tired of journalists in this country (and particularly the Daily Mail group) refusing to take any responsibility for anything they say, do or publish. Well done Ken for not apologising.
Phil, London

He has risen in my estimation
Dave, Lancashire

He has risen in my estimation. He has nothing to apologise for. If Blair had been in the same situation he would have crawled round grovelling in sackcloth and ashes. At last a politician with guts to stand up to PC Nonsense. Ken for PM.
Dave, Lancashire

Forget it. It must have sold enough papers by now, which I think is what it is all about, I bet the reporter has been called a lot worse than that, and didn't give it a second thought.
David Evans, Gold Coast, Australia (ex London)

Those who accuse him of anti-Semitism do a disservice to those who actually suffer, and have suffered, from this form of discrimination.
Sean Keltie, Edinburgh
I have no real like or dislike for Ken Livingstone but he shouldn't have to apologise for what he said - what he said wasn't anti-Semitic and wasn't even mildly insulting. Those who accuse him of anti-Semitism do a disservice to those who actually suffer, and have suffered, from this form of discrimination.
Sean Keltie, Edinburgh

Although I know that Ken Livingstone has hated the Daily Mail Group for many years, I find it hard to understand why he cannot just simply apologise and move on, as suggested by Tony Blair. Such an entrenched position could cost him his job.
Roger Campbell, England

I'm not a Livingstone supporter. However I totally agree with him in not apologising. I see no reason why he should. any with an ounce of intelligence can see that his remarks were addressed to an overbearing reporter who was not hounding him. He could have been more selective in his choice of phrase, but in no way should this be seen as an anti-Jewish statement. I am Black. We should be less ready to accuse others of racism and anti Semitism just because it suits our agenda.
Newton Alexander, Bangkok, Thailand

Judging by the comments so far, it appears that no lessons have been learnt from the Holocaust. As for Ken Livingstone, this insensitive outburst is just one in a long line and the sooner he disappears the better.
Anthony, Manchester, UK

Ken Livingstone has done a great deal to promote race relations, whereas The Daily Mail group seems only to delight in whipping up paranoid xenophobia. And now a perfectly reasonable comment made to a pushy journalist with an axe to grind is being blown entirely out of proportion. Ken has apologised for any offence caused to the Jewish community. Time to grow up and move on.
Danie Nix, Derby, UK

If someone from the Tory party or the Daily Mail had said what he said to that reporter, Ken would currently be holding hands with the PC brigade and calling for a public apology. Ken Livingstone has spent his entire career throwing accusations of racism and prejudice at other people and I for one have enjoyed watching him finally get a taste of his own medicine. Of course his comments weren't racist, so instead of seeing him apologise to the reporter, I would prefer to see him apologise to all the people that he has thrown reckless accusations at during his career.
Steve Wrigley, Swindon, UK

The man lives in "Kenworld" - a place where he is always right.
Mike, London
Why doesn't Ken just apologise for his crass, ill-tempered, childish comment? Because he's a politician! And for him to compare his "treatment" at the hands of the Mail and Standard to that dished out by concentration camp guards to the inmates they slaughtered beggars belief. It just shows that the man lives in "Kenworld" - a place where he is always right and everyone who doesn't agree with him is a Fascist and always wrong.
Mike, London

I don't approve of what Ken said, but if he isn't genuinely sorry, he shouldn't apologise. An insincere, forced, political apology that is clearly unmeant would just be an insult to everyone including the people of London that he represents.
RS, Glasgow, UK

Anyone who really believes that the reporter concerned is bothered about anything other than a big hoo haa and thus a big story for him and his paper is sadly mistaken. Livingstone should not apologise. Just because someone is Jewish doesn't mean they can demand this apology or the next over something as trivial as saying a person is behaving in a manner similar to a concentration camp guard. It is almost in common parlance as an adjective for the behaviour of bullies and thugs and rightly so. After all it is another means of remembering the atrocities that did occur. Has the world reached the point that the mere fact of someone being Jewish is enough to declare them innocent and incapable of any such behaviour? Sorry no....that is not reason enough for me. Innocence itself is.
M Cunningham, Abingdon

It's about time someone took a stand against those who use racism for their own ends.
G Home, Ripon, UK
It's about time someone took a stand against those who use racism for their own ends. That includes those who use it to gain advantage over others. Well done Ken, it takes someone of conviction to stand by what is right, the Labour party should learn from Ken.
G Home, Ripon, UK

Would Ken Livingstone's comments have been branded as anti-Semitic if said to someone not of the Jewish faith? How many times do people accuse traffic wardens of acting like Nazis; are comments like that anti-Semitic? Demanding or offering unfelt public apologies is worse than offering no apology. How can members of the public have any respect for politicians who do not have the courage of their convictions. In this day and age words are cheap and honour unheard of.
Darren Parlett, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear

Ken Livingstone's words to the reporter were calculated to be offensive. What other relevance was there in asking a reporter, who just happened to be a Jew, and was obviously too young to have been in the war if he was a German war criminal. He then made clear his intent by likening him to a concentration camp guard once it had been reminded that the reporter was Jewish.
A. C. O'Donnell, London

As a Jew, I found nothing anti-Semitic in Ken's comment. He may be guilty of naivety or thoughtlessness but not anti-Semitism. He is right that the position taken by the Mail group has been consistently racist in its approach both before the second world war and after.
Anon, UK

Well done to Ken! He has the guts to stand by his decisions and actions - a rare trait in politics today. His remark was not anti-Semitic... this is a crass attempt by a tabloid paper to make money out of sensationalist claims, with no basis in fact.
Dan Abbott, Manchester UK

Ken didn't say actually anything overtly nasty about the Jews. Some people argue that this means he wasn't being anti-Semitic or offensive and that he has nothing to apologise, regret or resign for. These people must be baffled why so many Jewish people, so many of Ken's colleagues, so much of the press and even the prime minister are so angry. The reason is that, by employing the Nazi metaphor to something as trivial as a guy asking a simple question, Ken diminishes the holocaust. Ken has worked in race relations for long enough to realise this. By repeating the slur, even when the reporter was Jewish, Ken could be accused of racial harassment. If people still can't understand the offence, imagine if a public official had deliberately called a black journalist a "slave trader". Ken should not apologise - simply because he isn't sorry. He should however be suspended - just as anyone in any decent company would be if they used racially insensitive language.
Dave Simons, London

The whole incident has just been totally blown out of proportion
Andrew Gibbs, London
Why should he make a public apology? He made an off-the-cuff comment to someone hassling him, which, let's face it wasn't said matter-of-factly. The whole incident has just been totally blown out of proportion....maybe certain sections of the press need to make an apology to the nation for their attention seeking, inaccurate accounts they continually feed us.
Andrew Gibbs, London

Rightly said Mr Livingstone, we need someone like you to be strong and stand up rather than bow to this ridiculous and time consuming irrelevance. Let the Mayor get on with his job.
N, London, UK

I think it is worth bearing in mind that the only time the word "Nazi" has been used is in the media, not by Ken. Also that the original "concentration camp guards" were the British in the Boer War, not the Nazis. This is another example of the media latching on to a non-existent story just to push an agenda.
Andrew Mackay, London

If he is part of the Labour party, then I'm no longer a supporter
Laurence P, London
He is stubborn and loves controversy. He is also totally insensitive to the hurt he has caused by belittling the holocaust in such a manner. If he is part of the Labour party, then I'm no longer a supporter. Obviously the Jewish vote is no longer important!
Laurence P, London

I am sure it is hard to appreciate just how difficult it is to be pursued by the press - so it is churlish to blame Livingstone for the remarks he made when under pressure; however, after the chance for sober judgement he has displayed a lack of graciousness. Such behaviour is not admirable.
Jonathan, Plymouth

I am Jewish and I say, well done Ken for not backing down. If anyone should apologise it should be Oliver Finegold for bringing our religion into a situation that clearly didn't warrant it. And look at what it's done for us, nothing! I think non-Jews must now think we're really pathetic and whiney!
David F, London

I didn't expect him to apologise. However, maybe the standards board will do something about him now. People in power need to understand that what they say has a clear effect over communities: especially currently in the UK where recent polls and statistics who that Anti-Semitism is on the rise.
John Waters, London, UK

I suggest that some of your earlier correspondents actually read a full transcript of the original conversation. What Ken Livingstone said was boorish and unacceptable, and there is not the slightest evidence that the journalist was being rude or in any way overstepping the mark at what was, after all, a public dinner. I don't think that Mr Livingstone was being intentionally racist, but I do think that in future he should watch what he says and does after a reception which presumably had alcoholic refreshment. Oh, and he should apologise properly, like an adult.
Alastair, London, UK

Well done the media. Another example of wasting everyone's time talking about a pointless issue, when the real problems facing our society get ignored. Let's get back to the real issues - health, education, pensions, taxation, civil liberty etc. I really don't think anyone gives an iota about this little squabble and it's time to get it off the headlines.
David, London

Not crumbling under the media pressure is the sign of an excellent politician
Simon, Poole, Dorset, UK
I too salute Ken for his actions and stand against the spin that the Mail group have performed on this non-story. Not crumbling under the media pressure is the sign of an excellent politician and is exactly what the UK politics is missing, strong individuals like this who withstand media spin. Ken is most certainly one of us and a true leader full of personal strength and the ability to explain his position with clarity. Ken for PM!
Simon, Poole, Dorset, UK

This is only what any thinking person would expect of Ken Livingstone - a classic example of the pseudo-left. What is new now? I don't support the constant campaigns against the Mayor by the Evening Standard and other papers - but Livingstone brings some of it upon himself. I would not value an apology if he gave one.
Mike Frizelle, Sheffield

Regardless of your office, you should have the right to freedom speech. I agree entirely with Ken Livingstone - now the Mail group should stop wasting our time and try reporting some real news instead of constant complaining....
Stephen Rippington, Leicester

In my view, Livingstone is a big ego on legs whose only purpose is to hold on to power as long as possible. Surely the mayor of London should set an example by using legal means to prevent this reporter from hounding him? Instead Livingstone just resorted to name calling, which means, I guess I can do it too!
Leon, Sunbury

Well done Ken. It is nice to hear someone speak with common sense and not the ridiculous hype and sensationalism of the tabloids. Nothing you said was anti Semitic, just anti one journalist
Simon Winder, Wakefield

Ken Livingstone's outburst, his subsequent refusal to back down, and his attacks against certain newspapers speak volumes about his own prejudices. Beneath the carefully cultivated 'cheeky chappy' image is an individual driven with a desire to rub the establishment's face in it. It takes a big man (or woman) to be Mayor of London, and big men are not afraid of apologising. Mr Livingstone is not a big man. If he has a shred of decency, he should stand down as Mayor.
Rod Craig, London

I think that Ken is right not to apologise. He was not being racist and he was not aiming this particular point at the Jewish community, he was aiming this remark at a persistent journalist who had 'door-stepped' him after a party. I think this is something that would wind me up, There's a time and place for journalists to ask questions of the Mayor, on his private phone or his front door are not the correct places. The Mayor is also correct in his comments about the way the Daily Mail and other newspapers in that group go after certain groups in the community, it is certainly a case of those in glass houses here. Good on yer Ken.
Will Reeves, London

I am sure Ken Livingstone is sincere in his wish not to cause offence to the Jewish community. Misguided though his comments were they were aimed at a Mail Group reporter - a fair target given their treatment of him over many years. I remain convinced that Ken Livingstone has done more good for minorities the Mail Group ever could. He has put up with their jibes and unbalanced reporting for years - one slip aimed at a reporter, the reporter's employer and profession is acceptable. The reporter has used Ken's remark to create a none story to attack Ken Livingstone personally yet again.
Andrew, Gloucester, UK

It astonishes me that excuses are being made everywhere I look for Mr Livingstone's actions. Comments about "pushy reporters" - as though there are any other kind - and the fatuous notion that a newspaper shouldn't publish a contentious and offensive remark made by the Mayor of London - to a journalist! - all serve to cloud the issue: if a political opponent of Mr Livingstone had made such a remark, he wouldn't be seen for the dust kicked up by Mr Livingstone's charge for the high ground. I don't believe he should apologise but he would be the first to call for another's apology, therefore even to make the comment was hypocrisy of the highest order.
Richard Barker, London, UK

I don't know about anyone else, but my opinion of Ken Livingstone has actually gone up as a result of this ridiculous affair. An apology now would be hollow, and he is absolutely correct not to cave in and offer one. Well done KL!
Tom K, London

The unfolding of the events clearly demonstrates that Livingstone does not know how to behave as a responsible politician: it is surely not easy to be politician but one should be able to sustain an expected high level of pressure from the tabloid industry. If a person cannot sustain this pressure, he/she should not be politician.
John, London

Freedom of speech does not imply freedom to freely insult
Riccardo, London
Freedom of speech does not imply freedom to freely insult. The point is not that this comment is racist or not. It is a comment that one would not expect from the Mayor of a city like London. Ken Livingstone should resign quickly. It is unacceptable that a "politician" expresses himself in such a way.
Riccardo, London

Insulting someone by likening them to a Nazi, makes you anti-Nazi not anti-Semitic. The Jewish community, of which I am a part, should not allow themselves to be used by the right wing press in their vendetta against Ken Livingstone.
Calvin, UK

The Daily Mail and the other media who have turned this into a media storm are appropriating genuine political concerns for their own petty political agenda. This does a disservice to the serious matters relating to race and discriminations.
Rizwan Butt, London

Ken's statement is a masterly rebuttal. Shame on the journalist. Shame on the Daily Mail and the Evening Standard. We constantly complain about lily-livered politicians in this country. It's uplifting to see Ken fighting back against this abject nonsense.
Donald Brookes, London

Suppose the PM had said it? Ken should apologise or be kicked out of office. Hardly a good example for a position of authority
Craig, Sheffield

Ken is right not to apologise. It's refreshing to see a politician who isn't afraid to say what he means and doesn't insult our intelligence by trying to spin out of a potentially damaging situation.
Sean, London, UK

This is cheap sensationalism on the part of Mr Finegold and the Evening Standard
Martin, London, UK
I don't think this is racist at all. He's comparing a rude and intrusive person who by haranguing Mr Livingston was 'just doing his job', to someone who manned a concentration camp? Did he use the word 'Jew' at all. Let's not forget that it wasn't only Jews in the concentration camps. If it's offensive to Jews surely it would be offensive to Russians and left wing intellectuals as well. This is cheap sensationalism on the part of Mr Finegold and the Evening Standard.
Martin, London, UK

Mr Livingstone would happily censor various aspects of the press - so much for free speech. This man is a liability to London and his party. The sooner his time is up as Mayor, the better for London and Britain.
John, Watford, UK

The Mayor of London has the moral responsibility to ensure that all members of London's culturally diverse community are respected and not alienated. If Ken Livingstone does not apologise for the offence his comments caused to members of the Jewish community then he should relinquish his position.
Dermot McDonough, South Uist, Scotland

What role model is the Mayor of London to our children. Whether the Mayor meant the comment to be anti-Semitic is irrelevant, his party leader told him to apologise for the remark and he has time and time again refused to get off his high-horse and let the matter pass. "An expression of regret to the Jewish community", why not a full blown "sorry, if I offended you"?
Joe, Manchester

It would not hurt Ken to apologise as a large proportion of people say he should
Simon Cook, Harlow, Essex
It's easy for most people to apologise, even if they believe they have no cause to. In such a case it would not hurt Ken to apologise as a large proportion of people say he should. If he doesn't, how does this bode for his future plans for London? Maybe he will he go ahead with future plans that are not supported by the majority?
Simon Cook, Harlow, Essex

It's interesting how easily people seem to have swallowed the poor beleaguered Ken v the big bad Mail group who have been hounding him for 20+ year's angle. Besides for working for the Evening Standard himself, the Standard claim they supported his re-election as Mayor. Hypocrites of the world unite!
Ed, London, UK

Can someone tell me what the difference is between the comments made by Ron Atkinson (for which he got the sack), those made by Robert Kilroy (for which he also got the sack) and those made by 'good old Ken'? I can't see any difference whatsoever. So, either Ron, and Robert should be reinstated or Ken should be sacked - I know which option I'd choose.
Malcolm Baines, Guernsey, UK

He should apologise for being one of those irritating, blatant self-publicists who continually says moderately controversial things to keep his name up in lights.
Roger, UK

The Mail group consistently provide a drip-feed of immigration and asylum scare stories
Carl, London, UK
The Mayor has nothing to apologise for. The Mail group consistently provide a drip-feed of immigration and asylum scare stories. It is a bit rich of them therefore to accuse Ken Livingstone, a man with a fine record of combating racism, of being anti-Semitic.
Carl, London, UK

What a hypocrite! Livingstone worked for the same group of newspapers for three years. I do not recall hearing him mention their so called anti-Semitic stance whilst taking their money. He should apologise to all Jewish people he has offended, and end his petty battle with this particular group of papers.
Neil Markell, Orpington, UK

Is it possible that Ken Livingstone, a man most people agree has done a great job as Mayor of London, might lose his job over something as ridiculous as this? I admire Ken for refusing to give a false apology and I worry that the current climate in this country means there should be such a fuss over what is essentially a storm in a tea cup.
Melissa, Guildford, Surrey

To liken a Jewish man to a concentration camp officer is an insult
Andrew Walker, London
Mr Livingstone appears to be adopting the Jeffrey Archer approach to media management. If you refuse to apologise for anything it will eventually go away and then he can come crawling back from under the stone he has hidden under. To liken a Jewish man to a concentration camp officer is an insult, period. It is not the language I wish to see from the mayor of London. A simple apology would have suffice, but no! I haven't come across one person - Boris Johnson apart - who agrees with him, so I don't know where he gets his two thirds support from?
Andrew Walker, London

It makes you wonder that if it had been a football pundit that made those comments it would be a different story. Makes my blood boil. Because it was Ken Livingstone people have different attitudes.
Nigel, London

Good old Ken, always so quick to pick on others failings, always so slow to admit his own. What a great advert for politics in this country. Ken leads the charge of political rectitude into the trough of reality politics. What an outstanding example!
Dave Testwick, Reading Berks

With true Brit sarcasm I will say that I am so happy that I live in a country that values free speech so highly that we can express our own opinions freely, as long as it's not in the slightest bit controversial, and it is also the opinion of everyone else on the planet. Who cares what was meant by his words - they were his words, if you don't agree with it say something else instead!
Chris, Plymouth

Mayor Livingstone saying he has done enough simply will not do
Roger, Whitwick, England
No, he has not done any where near enough. Speaking to Jewish friends last night they fully expected him to do the decent thing and apologise. Ken's credentials as an anti-Semite are now confirmed to the UK Jewish Community, and I only hope that The Standards Board of England can redress this appalling situation to the satisfaction of those Mayor Livingstone has so grossly insulted. Mayor Livingstone saying he has done enough simply will not do, only those abused can decide. On a related note, I hope that Mayor Livingstone's arrogance does not adversely affect the London bid for the Olympics.
Roger, Whitwick, England

I wonder if the original comment to the reporter had attacked him for being gay, Muslim, or disabled, that so many people would be congratulating Ken for sticking to his guns and not apologising. I don't believe Ken is an anti-Semite, but I fear that this affair has given a fillip to many anti-Semites to cheer on the Mayor of London. It is for this reason alone that Ken should withdraw his remarks and apologise for being offensive - I'm sure he would not want to be the new pin-up boy for odious anti-Semites in this country.
David Phillips, Manchester, UK

To be a successful journalist you need the hide of a rhino. So, either this journalist was simply taking advantage of an opportunity to stir things up or he is in the wrong job. Either way, there is nothing here that Ken Livingstone should apologise for.
Julian Barkway, Zurich, Switzerland

Mr Livingstone just confirms his position that everyone and everything is beneath him. Not for the first time has he caused this kind of outrage! He needs to get over his hatred for journalists and apologise for an insult on a member of the public! The general public would not be allowed to say these kind of things and get away with it, why should he?
Steve Lowe, London

Well, I certainly agree with Ken's comments about the Daily Mail. A paper that does everything it can to make you feel scared of living in this country. From asylum seekers to the MMR jab, from GM crops to the NHS and everything in between, the Daily Mail will frighten you about it - and it's all Tony Blair's fault. Ken's done the right thing - he hasn't apologised to the Daily Mail, but he has expressed regret if he has caused offence to the Jewish community.
Rick Nunn, Flamstead, UK

A person of his position should have more regard for what he says in public
Carl, London
I don't believe that what he said was intended to upset anyone in the Jewish community, but it has, and a person of his position should have more regard for what he says in public. There is no excuse for comments like these and as such Mr Livingstone has betrayed not himself, but the standing of Mayor. It's about time he retired to his own little world that he seems so keen to live in.
Carl, London

Well done to Ken Livingstone for making a stand against the Mail group. This politicising of what is essentially a personal spat between a public figure and a pushy journalist is just another example of the depressing negativity of this newspaper group, who when dealing with racism and xenophobia, would do well to recall the old adage about glass houses and stone throwing.
Jim Vincent, Sheffield

I find it offensive that The Standards Board for England is spending time and money investigating this when they have notably failed to launch investigations into more serious far right and far left councillors and MP's. "Grandstanding" springs to mind. I have never and will never vote for Ken Livingstone, but I recognise and respect him as lifelong anti-fascist.
Guy, St Albans UK

What has happened to the freedom of speech? Ken merely drew a comparison between historical events and his perception of the behaviour of the reporter. If the Daily Mail Group were so concerned with the sensibilities of the Jewish community, perhaps they should have chosen not to report the remarks in the first place?
Pete M, Frimley Green, UK

To apologise is to devalue the idea of an apology
Chris, UK
He has nothing to do. The jibe was clearly intended as a reflection of the reporter's abdication of moral judgement. It has nothing to do with the reporter's religion. To apologise is to devalue the idea of an apology.
Chris, UK

Enough already! I'm Jewish and I really don't care. There are surely more important offences to my religion and to other minority groups to worry about?!
Anon, London

He should apologise for making such a stupid and crass comment. I do not think his comments are necessarily anti-Jewish but they were insensitive and by failing to apologise the issue will haunt him.
Jon D, Wolverhampton

If anyone owes the public an apology, it's the Evening Standard, for inflicting this nonsense on us all in the first place.
Katie, Luton, Beds

I still don't see how his comment was anti-Semitic. He was comparing the reporter to a concentration camp guard in order to insult him. This surely means that Livingstone has nothing but scorn for concentration camp guards and, as such, is clearly not anti-Semitic. I fail to see how anybody could be offended apart from the reporter himself, who was the intended offendee in the first place. Job done.
Nick, Luton., UK

I would rather see someone honest enough to not apologise, than someone apologising to silence critics. Apologising would be the easy way out and help save face. He has the courage of his conviction to know he did nothing wrong and that an apology is not needed. Well done.
Martin, Glasgow

Ken Livingstone has worked harder on race relations throughout his career than virtually any British politician
Steve Roberts, London
Ken Livingstone has worked harder on race relations throughout his career than virtually any British politician. The notion that he is anti-Semitic is absurd. He was unwise to make those comments, but they have been taken out of context and blown out of all proportion by those who have their own agenda. The Standard and Mail have always been opposed to virtually everything he does, and as Ken says, have nothing to be proud of themselves in the way they portrayed Jews in the past and currently portray other minorities. Ken should be left to continue the great work he's doing to make London a better place to live for people of all backgrounds.
Steve Roberts, London

I think Ken Livingstone is an inspiration to us all, not only has he got nothing to apologise about but his address today has excelled him into the world of politics further. He has stood by his actions admirably further proving why he is the Mayor of London. Well Done Ken.
Ketan Patel, Edgware, UK

Let's hope the investigation proves even further that Ken Livingstone is not fit to be in a position of any remote power. Stand aside Ken and let a real professional do the job.
Chris Gower, Liverpool, Merseyside

Mr Livingstone has done more than enough. The one that should be apologising is the journalist, Oliver Finegold, for having behaved in such an appalling manner that he reminded Mr Livingstone of a concentration camp guard. The Jewish community leaders, such as Mr Jonathan Saks, should take a long look at their own behaviour. To have blown this out of all proportion is outrageous. I come from a German Jewish family (Saks was my maiden name, coincidentally) and have had the history and stories studied and discussed since I was a child. One thing I have learned is that if you condemn a set of people for their actions, you just don't go acting like them. No, Mr Livingstone should most definitely not apologise for giving a name to this man's behaviour - he continues to act like a concentration camp guard, who, when he did not get his own way, is now trying to play the "offended Jewish sensibilities" card. Just look at where the man works, for goodness sake.
Ellen Morton, Walton on Thames, UK

Why doesn't he just say sorry and then move on?
Alex, London, UK
What gives him the right to behave like a spoiled child? Why doesn't he just say sorry and then move on? It is completely idiotic to allow something like this to rival the coverage of the Olympic committee's visit in the press. It was bad publicity for him and bad publicity for London.
Alex, London, UK

The reporter's sole aim in this is to bring Ken Livingstone down - and nothing more. Whatever the Daily Mail Group tries and dresses this up as (a racial slur, a breach of rules/conduct) is utter nonsense. If they achieve their goal, they will just move on to their next target. Admirable work? Hardly! Whether you like him or loathe, Ken has to be admired for standing his ground to a corporation baying for his blood because his political agenda clashes with that of theirs.
Paul H, Essex

It's high time that this country's media simply reported the facts and stop trying to contrive news stories by pushing people into doing or saying things that they wouldn't normally do or say. It's their job to report news, not create it.
Gareth, Truro, UK

This was an argument between two individuals, not the whole Jewish community .Livingstone should not apologise to the reporter and certainly not to the Daily Mail Group, the press should draw a line under the story and move on.
G Anderson, Nottingham UK

I think it is important for Ken Livingstone to appease the Jewish lobby which is what he did today. However, his intention was to offend the journalist and that he did. As for the journalist being offended, it is worth considering, I also find the 'politically correct' card being played by a newspaper unpalatable and hypocritical.
H Dobson, London

It was a jibe, not a jab. He's said he'd didn't mean to cause offence to people; fine, end of story. As for the Daily Mail Group, I wouldn't push it. Boorish and harassing door-stepping of individuals at social functions is not investigative journalism; it's provocation.
Alan Davidson, London, UK

He was having a go at a journalist for being obnoxious not the Jewish faith
Martin, Basingstoke, Hants
Oh for heavens sake. He was having a go at a journalist for being obnoxious not the Jewish faith. This has been blown out of all proportion by people trying to make political capital out of it.
Martin, Basingstoke, Hants

What is wrong with our mayor that he cannot apologise like any ordinary decent person would? What on earth is an expression of regret other than fatuous and meaningless spin? Ken is unfit for public office and should resign.
Tom, London

I appreciate what he has done. He has explained why he did it. He did not apologise for something which he did not do. He was clearly not anti-Semitic. I salute him.
Toosy, Guildford, England

Ken Livingstone knew what he was doing and always appears to have the view "even bad publicity is good publicity". This time he's really bitten off more than he can chew in the sense that he has insulted a huge community along with having defied the Prime Minister himself by not acting upon his request to make a simple apology. Drop your pride Ken and apologise...or simply get out.
Gwynn Evans, Sudbury, Suffolk

I'm sure he was just angered by the (probably insistent) questioning of the reporter and I don't for one second believe that he is now, or ever has been, anti-Semitic. This is all just the usual tabloid feeding frenzy over what is really just recreational outrage!
Andy GM Wood, London, UK

I think Ken Livingstone had every right to say what he said. He has been victimised by that newspaper group for long enough and it's about time he gave them a taste of their own medicine.
Keith Jones, Grays, Essex




SEE ALSO:
Boris opposes Livingstone apology
17 Feb 05 |  Politics



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