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Last Updated: Monday, 27 February 2006, 16:13 GMT
Mayor's High Court appeal on ban
Ken Livingstone
Mr Livingstone's ban is due to start on Wednesday
London's mayor has lodged papers at the High Court asking for his suspension to be put back while he appeals.

Ken Livingstone has been banned from his post for four weeks from Wednesday for likening a Jewish reporter to a concentration camp guard.

He called for the suspension to be stayed while he appealed against that decision and also the finding that he brought his office into disrepute.

The Standards Board for England found against Mr Livingstone on Friday.

It said he brought his office into disrepute by likening the Evening Standard's Oliver Finegold to a Nazi.

Public interest

The mayor's statement read: "I have instructed my legal representatives to lodge an appeal today and will be asking for the suspension to be "stayed" - in effect lifted - until an appeal on both whether there was a breach of the code of conduct, and also whether the sanction was appropriate, has been heard."

Mr Finegold approached Mr Livingstone after a party held for the former Culture Secretary Chris Smith, marking 20 years since he became Britain's first openly gay MP.

The mayor asked the reporter if he was a German war criminal, then told him he was like a concentration camp guard.

Legal challenges can take months to come before the High Court but Mr Livingstone's legal team are expected to argue that bringing this case forward is in the public interest.

A complaint was put to the Standards Board by the Jewish Board of Deputies.

A three-man adjudication panel found Mr Livingstone guilty and decided upon the suspension.

Mr Livingstone's solictior, Tony Child said: "Our contention is that the case tribunal's decision is inconsistent with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right to private life, and Article 10, which protects the right to freedom of expression."

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