The Labour party's national executive committee (NEC) will take another look at the case surrounding anti-Semitic remarks made by Ken Livingstone.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said today that Livingstone’s comments have been "grossly insensitive, and he has caused deep offence and hurt to the Jewish community", and said the NEC would be examining Livingstone's comments and actions, following representations from party members.
"Labour's independently elected National Constitutional Committee has found Ken guilty of bringing the party into disrepute and suspended him for two years," Corbyn added.
"It is deeply disappointing that, despite his long record of standing up to racism, Ken has failed to acknowledge or apologise for the hurt he has caused. Many people are understandably upset that he has continued to make offensive remarks which could open him to further disciplinary action.
"Since initiating the disciplinary process, I have not interfered with it and respect the independence of the party’s disciplinary bodies. But Ken’s subsequent comments and actions will now be considered by the National Executive Committee after representations from party members."
Sadiq Khan and Labour deputy leader Tom Watson were among the leading Labour figures who condemned the party's failure to expel Livingstone today.
Khan and Watson have both slammed the verdict.
Khan branded the decision to allow Livingstone to remain a Labour member "deeply disappointing". "As the Labour Party it is our duty to lead by example and demonstrate that we take a zero-tolerance approach towards anti-Semitism wherever we find it. Sadly this gives the impression we are not fulfilling that duty," he added.
Meanwhile, the Labour deputy leader said his party's failure to expel Livingstone was "inexplicable".
"It isn't just Jewish people who feel offended and disgusted by what Mr Livingstone said and by the way he has conducted himself over this matter, and it isn't just Jewish Labour members who feel ashamed of any indulgence of his views anywhere in the Labour party," said Watson.
This shames us all, and I'm deeply saddened by it.
Other senior Labour figures including shadow cabinet members have also blasted the decision, including shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner and shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth.
Livingstone caused enormous offence & should have apologised.— Barry Gardiner (@BarryGardiner) April 4, 2017
He was found guilty of bringing the Party into disrepute & should be expelled.
I really can't understand how if the NCC judges someone has brought party in disrepute they can think this an acceptable sanction— Jonathan Ashworth (@JonAshworth) April 5, 2017