Corbyn bids to shut down anti-Semitism row

Ken Livingstone Image copyright PA

For years it has been more surprising when Ken Livingstone hasn't raised hackles than when he has.

That's why so many Labour MPs feared a miscalculation when their party's leader brought his old comrade back into the fold.

But his staggering comments today about Hitler and anti-Semitism crossed a line - they were enough for Jeremy Corbyn to suspend him.

But the problem for the leader doesn't end with that act.

No one believes that Jeremy Corbyn himself tolerates discrimination against Jews.

But on repeated occasions Labour has been slow and clumsy in closing down cases of anti-Semitism among its members when they emerge.

Any moments of delay or doubts about the leadership's determination, open the window a tiny crack to the kind of intolerance that the vast majority of the Labour Party, and indeed the public, find appalling.

Public denials that there is even a issue could make it even worse. Perhaps in politics as in normal life, the first step towards fixing a problem is acknowledging that it exists.

And with only a week before Jeremy Corbyn's first big test at the polls, In elections in London, Scotland, Wales, and al round England, it's the kind of mess, and political distraction Labour could do without.

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