Livingstone 'says Jews are too rich to vote for him'

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Labour mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone was last night attempting to distance himself from accusations that he believes London's Jews are too wealthy to vote for him.

A private letter to Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, written by group of prominent members of the Jewish community, expressing concerns about Mr Livingstone's views on Jews and his "relationship with radical Islamist politics", was leaked to the Jewish Chronicle newspaper.

The authors, who included a leading liberal rabbi, said that during a recent private meeting, which discussed May's election, Mr Livingstone used "pejorative" language that was classically anti-Semitic.

The letter concluded Jewish supporters were finding it "harder and harder to consider voting for Ken".

A spokesperson for the Livingstone campaign said the discussion with Jewish leaders was private and based on "Chatham House rules", adding: "Ken's campaign will be seeking the votes of all Jewish voters from all backgrounds and incomes."

The Labour campaign denied the accusations of anti-Semitism, saying there were "bound to be different" interpretations of what was discussed.