Livingstone to give partial apology for 'Nazi guard' insult

Ken Livingstone was dealt a fresh blow last night when it emerged the Commission for Racial Equality had referred his remarks about a journalist to a local government watchdog to see whether he had breached the Race Relations Act.

Ken Livingstone was dealt a fresh blow last night when it emerged the Commission for Racial Equality had referred his remarks about a journalist to a local government watchdog to see whether he had breached the Race Relations Act.

The CRE, chaired by Trevor Phillips, a former chairman of the London Assembly, referred the Mayor of London's comments to the Standards Board for England, following formal complaints, including one from Tory members of the assembly.

The CRE's director of policy, Nick Johnson said: "We have asked whether his comments might compromise the ability of the GLA to comply with its general duty, under section 71 of the amended Race Relations Act, to carry out its functions with due regard to the need to eliminate racial discrimination and promote equality of opportunity and good relations."

The Mayor is expected to stage a partial climbdown by expressing "regret'' to the Jewish community for his remarks to a Jewish journalist. He said he would make a statement to the Jewish community next Tuesday. His deputy, Nicky Gavron, said that he would express his regret "in his own way and in his own time".

Mr Livingstone is seeking to defuse the row before attending a presentation by senior ministers at Downing Street to the International Olympic Committee members who are assessing London's bid for the Olympic Games in 2012.

Mr Blair has put pressure on the Mayor to apologise for comparing the journalist from the Daily Mail group to a Nazi concentration camp guard.

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