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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 February 2005, 16:43 GMT
Evening Standard's statement in full
The Evening Standard has issued a statement calling London mayor "arrogant" for not apologising for comments made to a Jewish journalist. Here is its statement in full:

Oliver Finegold
Reporter Oliver Finegold "behaved impeccably "

We have said since the outcry began over the Mayor's remarks, the important issue is what Mr Livingstone said to an Evening Standard reporter, who was Jewish.

He compared the reporter to a Nazi concentration camp guard.

The wave of shock in London's Jewish community and beyond continues to grow, aggravated by Mr Livingstone's stubborn refusal to apologise.

The Commission for Racial Equality, the main parties in the London Assembly and the Holocaust Memorial Trust have all expressed grave concerns and the prime minister has called on Mr Livingstone to apologise.

Yet Mr Livingstone's arrogant remarks today were no such thing.

His accusations against the Mail are absurd. But they are in any case irrelevant: the Evening Standard is a different newspaper
Evening Standard statement

His only words of contrition, aimed at the Jewish community, were that his words 'were not meant to cause offence'.

This is a nonsense: they did - and it should have been obvious that they would.

Mr Livingstone once again attempted to divert attention from the real issue with a long tirade against the Daily Mail and Associated Newspapers.

His accusations against the Mail are absurd. But they are in any case irrelevant: the Evening Standard is a different newspaper.

Ken Livingstone at the press conference
Ken Livingstone is refusing to apologise

Nor is there a shred of truth in his few specific accusations against the Standard.

Our reporter behaved impeccably as we covered a civic party.

None of those present that night, including Chris Smith the guest of honour, objected. Our reporter did not harass him.

His attack on the Evening Standard is an attack on democracy: as London's paper we strive to be independent and to represent the range of political opinion in the capital.

Mr Livingstone's supposed attempt to draw a line under the matter today has done nothing to mend the hurt caused by his original remarks.

Worse, it has reinforced the impression that he has contempt for some of the key institutions that sustain London's democracy.

Daily Mail's statement in full
22 Feb 05 |  London


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