Portsmouth Festivities drops Ken Livingstone over Hitler comments

Ken Livingstone taken off Portsmouth Festivities line-up
Ken Livingstone taken off Portsmouth Festivities line-up

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A TALK from former London mayor Ken Livingstone that was scheduled as part of Portsmouth Festivities has been cancelled over his controversial comments about Adolf Hitler.

A statement from the organisers said: ‘Due to renewed concerns regardingKen Livingstone’s comments in relation to the Jewish community, we have reviewed our programme for the forthcoming Speakers’ Day on Thursday, June 22, during Festivities 2017 and decided that he will no longer be included in the line-up for that day.

‘We apologise for any disappointment or inconvenience that may cause. All tickets purchased for this event will be refunded.

‘We will be announcing any new additions to the Speakers’ Day shortly.’

There is growing pressure from Jewish Labour members and supporters for the party to take further action over Mr Livingstone’s comments linking Nazi leader Adolf Hitler with Zionism.

Mr Livingstone was suspended by Labour for two years – one year of which he has already served since making the original comments, which were condemned as anti-semitic, in April 2016.

Labour leader Jeremy Corben said the ‘offensive remarks’ – which Mr Livingstone has continue to defend – will now be considered by the party’s ruling executive committee.

Mr Livingstone insists that he has been ‘suspended for stating the truth’ and said his comments had been misreported by the media.

Portsmouth Festivities sees concerts, exhibitions, talks, comedy, folk, family events, free outdoor events and much more take place across the city from June 16 until June 25.

Go to portsmouthfestivities.co.uk/ for more details.