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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 February 2005, 17:21 GMT
Daily Mail's statement in full
The Daily Mail has described the attack on it by London mayor Ken Livingstone as a "red herring". Here is the paper's statement in full:

The cynical attempt by Ken Livingstone to drag the Daily Mail into his dispute with an Evening Standard reporter is a complete red herring, and sadly Mr Livingstone knows it.

Man reading Daily Mail newspaper

His absurd attempts to cloud the issue by invoking a distorted view of a distant past obscure what is a very simple issue.

The tape-recording of the interchange between Mr Livingstone and Oliver Finegold speaks for itself.

Oliver Finegold pointed out that he was Jewish and that he found some of Ken Livingstone's remarks offensive.

Mr Livingstone persisted with them and refused to apologise.

Since the outburst two weeks ago he has been urged to apologise by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Holocaust survivors, the Chief Rabbi, his own deputy mayor, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, a range of politicians from different parties and Tony Blair, his prime minister and leader of his own party.

His attempt to excuse his offensive behaviour by launching an hysterical tirade against the Daily Mail is transparently a diversionary tactic
Daily Mail statement

He has chosen not to do so.

Mr Livingstone is a powerful political figure, mayor of London and a member of the Labour Party.

His attempt to excuse his offensive behaviour by launching an hysterical tirade against the Daily Mail is transparently a diversionary tactic.

The Mail has nothing to do editorially with the Evening Standard - which has its own autonomous editor, its great journalistic history, and for whom Mr Livingstone once worked.

The public will not be so easily fooled.



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