There are no two ways about it: Mr Livingstone needs to apologise, even if he didn’t know about Kevan Jones and his psychiatric history.
Jeremy Corbyn has now demanded an apology, in any case.
But Mr Jones should also apologise. He should not have spoken publicly against Mr Livingstone’s appointment to the defence review.
One wonders why he did.
The row over Ken Livingstone’s appointment to Labour’s defence review has exploded after he said a shadow minister who criticised his appointment “might need some psychiatric help”.
Livingstone, the former mayor of London, made the comments about the shadow defence minister, Kevan Jones, who has suffered from depression.
Jones had questioned whether the anti-Trident Livingstone was the right person to lead the defence review with Maria Eagle, the shadow defence secretary, who has expressed support for renewing the nuclear deterrent.
Jones has in the past spoken publicly about suffering from mental illness in 1996.
“I think he might need some psychiatric help. He’s obviously very depressed and disturbed,” Livingstone told the Mirror. “He should pop off and see his GP before he makes these offensive comments.”
Jones said : “I find these comments gravely offensive not just personally but also to the many thousands who suffer from mental illness.”
Afterwards, Livingstone told the Evening Standard he had not been aware Jones had suffered from depression, and said he had never heard of him.
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