Mayor’s gay party slur suspension quashed

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London Mayor Ken Livingstone has had his four-week suspension from office overturned after appealing the decision this week.

Mr Livingstone had been suspended from office for a month last February after comparing a Jewish journalist to a concentration camp guard, but the mayor has today successfully challenged the decision of the Standards Board for England arguing he was not on official duty when the comments were made.

The Adjudication Panel of the Standards Board for England had ruled that the Mayor of London brought his office into disrepute when he acted in an “unnecessarily insensitive” manner following a reception held commemorating the 20th anniversary of Chris Smith being the first MP to reveal he was gay

The hearing followed a complaint from the Jewish Board of Deputies.

The mayor defended the outburst, saying Evening Standard reporter, Oliver Finegold was “doorstepping” him outside a party.

He believed he was expressing his honestly-held political view of Associated Newspapers, but he didn’t mean to offend the Jewish community.

Mr Justice Collins reserved judgement at the High Court but said the suspension should be overturned regardless of the Adjudication Panel’s decision where Mr Livingstone is also appealing.