By Helen William, London
KEN Livingstone’s political career was rocked yesterday when he was suspended as Mayor of London for making a Nazi jibe to a Jewish reporter.
A three-man disciplinary tribunal unanimously ruled that Mr Livingstone was "unnecessarily insensitive and offensive" when he compared the London Evening Standard’s Oliver Finegold to a Nazi "concentration camp guard".
"This decision strikes at the heart of democracy. Elected politicians should only be able to be removed by the voters or for breaking the law," Mr Livingstone said.
The Adjudication Panel for England ruled that Mr Livingstone broke the Greater London Authority’s code of conduct when he clashed with Mr Finegold in February last year.
Declaring that Mr Livingstone was to blame for the mess he now finds himself in, panel chairman David Laverick said: "His treatment of the journalist was unnecessarily insensitive and offensive."
Mr Livingstone asked Mr Finegold whether he had ever been a "German war criminal" when the reporter questioned him outside a function.
On hearing that Mr Finegold was Jewish, the Mayor likened him to a Nazi concentration camp guard.