John Prescott listens to Ken Livingstone at the Labour party conference in 2005 [Image: Dan Chung for the Guardian].

John Prescott listens to Ken Livingstone at the Labour party conference in 2005 [Image: Dan Chung for the Guardian].

I like John Prescott as much as the next political commentator but his information is sadly lacking in this case – as is the Groan‘s coverage.

Prescott’s claim that Livingstone said “Hitler was a Zionist” is false. Livingstone claimed Hitler supported Zionism in a single, historically-documented instance. The two aren’t the same.

Groan reporter Mark Sweney’s claim that Livingstone was suspended from the Labour Party after being accused of anti-Semitism is also wrong. He was suspended under suspicion of bringing the party into disrepute.

And while LBC did drop his Saturday morning radio show after his claim about Hitler and Zionism – chronologically – it would not be correct to infer that this was the reason.

Co-presenter David Mellor’s contract won’t be renewed either, and he had nothing to do with the anti-Semitism row.

It’s all very well to report on new developments, but This Writer would like to appeal to mainstream media reporters everywhere to get your facts straight.

I notice the Groan article has no comment column. Perhaps the editors fear this piece will attract racist responses – or perhaps they fear it will attract correction.

Let us hope John Prescott’s questioning is better-informed.

John Prescott may have asked a Russia Today journalist earlier this year “Who the bloody hell is Ken Livingstone?”, but the former deputy PM is to interview the ex-London mayor on the news channel this weekend.

The pair – who have a long history of mutual antagonism – will appear on Kremlin-backed RT’s satirical show News Thing on Saturday night.

Their clash will be especially poignant as Livingstone was suspended from the Labour party last month after he was accused of antisemitism. LBC dropped his Saturday morning radio show following his claim that Hitler supported Zionism.

Prescott wrote in the Daily Mirror last month: “Ken Livingstone’s comment that Hitler was a Zionist was beyond contempt and it’s absolutely right he was suspended.

“Ken was never a team player and has undermined the party for years, even standing as an ­independent against Labour in the mayoral elections.”

Source: John Prescott to clash with Ken Livingstone on Russia Today | Media | The Guardian


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