LEGAL & FINANCE: Red Ken's No Racist, Insists the Law

The Birmingham Post (England), February 25, 2005 | Go to article overview

LEGAL & FINANCE: Red Ken's No Racist, Insists the Law


Ken Livingstone may live to regret his recent likening of a Jewish journalist to a 'concentration camp guard', but it is doubtful that the law will find him a racist, according to legal experts.

The London Mayor has found himself at the centre of a row after asking a newspaper reporter whether he was a 'German war criminal', at a party for MP Chris Smith.

When the reporter said he was Jewish and took offence at the comment, Mr Livingstone retorted that he was 'just like a concentration camp guard'.

The controversial exchange has resulted in Mr Livingstone beingcalled upon to apologise, both by the London Assembly and the Prime Minister.

But the Commission for Racial Equity has taken things a step further and is seeking a ruling on whether Red Ken breachedthe Race Relations Act. A finding against Mr Livingstone could result in him being forced to stand down from public office.

Martin Brewer, a partner in the employment team at Birmingham law firm Mills & Reeve, questions whether Mr Livingstone is in breach of the Act. …

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