If anyone can prove suspended former London Mayor Ken Livingstone’s recent Hitler comments were anti-Semitic, he will buy them a free meal.
In April, Livingstone caused outrage and confusion when he said Hitler had been a Zionist before going mad and killing the Jews.
As a result he was harangued in an apparently contrived ambush by right-wing Labour MP John Mann, who chased him into a building with a camera crew in tow.
Livingstone was subsequently suspended by the Labour Party leadership, and an official probe into alleged anti-Semitism in the party is underway.
In an interview on talkRADIO on Thursday, Livingstone was unrepentant and said anyone who could prove he is an anti-Jewish bigot would get a free dinner.
“There’s this interesting accusation I’m anti-Semitic,” he said.
“Not a single newspaper, or radio, or TV program has produced any evidence in the last two weeks that what I said was wrong.
“I’ll offer a free meal out for anyone who can prove what I said was wrong,” he said.
He said he had merely answered a question about “Hitler’s policies” and that he “dealt with it in about 40 words and moved on. And then all these embittered old Blairite MPs, who hate me, ranted about me being a Nazi apologist and so on.”
He said he could sue over the slurs and “make a lot of money” but did not wish to “drag this out forever.”
Livingstone’s original comments, his supporters argue, were merely a reference to the Haavara Agreement reached on August 25, 1933, between Germany’s Zionist leaders and its fascist politicians.
Long-time ally and former MP George Galloway told Sky News in the wake of the row that Livingstone had fallen victim to an “entirely synthetic crisis.”
“Ken Livingstone said absolutely nothing wrong, everything he said was the truth: historical fact, proven. I’ve got the books, so should you,” he argued.