Livingstone cleared over 'Nazi' attack on reporter

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The Independent Online

The London Mayor Ken Livingstone was cleared by a High Court judge of bringing his office into disrepute after he likened a Jewish reporter to a Nazi.

Mr Justice Collinssaid that the Mayor's remarks to the London Evening Standard reporter Oliver Finegold were "offensive" and "indefensible".

But the judge ruled that it was unwarranted for the Adjudication Panel for England to have found him in violation of the Greater London Authority code last February.

He stressed that the Mayor had the right to freedom of speech in a democratic society and to express his views "as forcibly as he thought fit".

Mr Livingstone, who was facing bankruptcy if he lost the case, responded: "I think it is an incredibly sensible judgment."

The Mayor made the remarks when Mr Finegold approached him after a reception at City Hall in February last year. On hearing that Mr Finegold was Jewish, Mr Livingstone likened him to a concentration camp guard.