Livingstone suspended for 4 weeks as Mayor of London

| | Comments (24)

The BBC tv news is reporting Ken Livingstone has been suspended for 4 weeks from 1st March by the Adjudication Panel for England

No doubt he will appeal this decision,.

The full decision will probably be available online "within 14 days" on the Adjudication Panel for England website

Again we ask, will the taxpayers of London end up paying these , presumably large, legal costs ?

Ir will be a further scandal if he continues to be paid salary and expenses during this 4 week suspension.

What a disgrace !

24 Comments

I think that it was the right decision to suspend the mayor for 4 weeks.

At long last we see some accountability for the actions of someone in the Labour Party.

Perhaps we could now do the same with Mr. Blair before he turns our country into Soviet Britain.

I hope the Mayor stops his arrogant behaviour now and
realises that he can not do what he wants all of the time.

I hope the press call on Livingstone to resign.

The chances of him voluntarily resigning seem rather remote, since he has refused to fully apologise over the incident and his subsequent media spin thereafterwards.

I voted for a Mayor of London.
(Badly needed since the dissolution of the GLC under Thatcher in her most spiteful mode.)
I voted for Ken Livingstone.
Does anyone know what formal jurisdiction is really needed to suspend the man I and many thousands of Londoners voted for? Surely this "three-man Adjudication Panel for England" does not. What other rights does this group have and does anyone know who appointed them?
I need a mayor in post and I am amazed that he has been told he "should step down from his duties on March 1."
Celia Blair (Wandsworth)

@ Celia - it is all explained on the rather too generally named named Standards Board for England

http://www.standardsboard.co.uk

and the Adjudication Panel for England

http://www.adjudicationpanel.co.uk

websites.

The names of these Quangos give the impression that they deal with all "standards" of any sort in England, whilst in fact they only deal with things covered under the Local Government legislation.

The Code of Practice which they enforce applies to all local councillors and it seems to be a condition of employment for all the Members of the Greater London Assembly and the Mayor.

As they say in their judgement, he signed up for the Code of Conduct when he accepted the post of Mayor.

Codes of Conduct should and do apply to all of our elected politicians, otherwise you get disgraced and sleazy politicians like David Blunkett remaining in office.- why is he still occupying a Government owned £3 million hiouse in Belgravia ?

It is worth remembering that Ken Livingstone only got 12 to 13% (after the second preference votes) if the electorate of London to vote for him, so he certainly does not represent the majority of us in that respect, but his actions do bring international shame on all of us.

I think it was the right decision of suspend the mayor. I think Ken Livingstone should resign over his comments to Mr Feingold and should learn to think before he speaks in future. To gain respect, you have to show it.
What an idiot he is!

I agree with mol - These people are unelected from god knows where, What right do they have to judge other people.

The Newspapers invade peoples private space and print what they like, I for one do not read there diatribes.

Mr.Feingold should apologise to Ken for invading his privacy. If it had been a formal interview then it would have ben a different matter.

I would have told this rag writer exactly where to stick his oar if it had been me.

The full text of the Adjudication Panel for England's decision is available in the next blog entry

[i]These people are unelected from god knows where, What right do they have to judge other people.[/i]

Like Ken you may need a lesson in civics. Almost all judicial bodies are "unelected."

This is proposterous! The man's comments were by no stretch of the imagination anti-semitic. If any office has been brought into disrepute by this whole fiasco then it has to be that of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. Making a big issue out of something so petty only serves to discredit more important issues of real anti-semitism that still exists in British society.

I whole-heartedly agree with Celia Blair. this is another unelected body brought together by the government in order to bypass proper judicial or democratic paths. the obvious answer is that he should ignore his illegal and contensious suspension and carry on as normal, see what reacion that provokes. P.S. Were the members f the panel working for the Mail newspaper group?

It is a shame to suspend the Mayor.
If do not agree be ready for elections for the Parliament.
The Prime - minister is responsible for the dead and torture of so many innoncent citizens of Iraq.
They are also human beings , aren't they?

This disgraceful decision shows who rules UK , indeed!

What about freedom of speech. eh? When somebody draws cartoons thats freedom of speech and when Livingstone tries to compare that is against law and he is suspended.

I am not sure what the fuss is about.. so what that Lvingstone compares a reporter to a concentration camp guard? IS it because the reporter is Jewish. Its about time the Jews stopped WHINING about everything and just get on with it. If that reporter was of any other religion would it have mattered, I guess not. And besides, the mayor is suspended for making such a comment yet the people responsible for the Mohammed cartoons are given permission by appeal to the freedom of speech slogan. What hypocrisy, democracy is dead if the world continues to be blackmailed by the fanatical members of the Jewish faith.

What is so strange about the enforcement of minimum standards of public conduct by elected officials by an independently appointed tribunal ?

The Code of Conduct is full of perefectly reasonable things like a need to decalare any financial interests before attending meetings where decisions are made which involve the spending of public money, rules on the acceptance of gifts and hospitality etc. The Ahjudication Panel itself has to abideby the even stricter Judicial Code of Conduct.

As the Adjudication Panel decision says:

"14 Moreover a decision to seek and accept office of a kind subject to the Code of Conduct was an entirely voluntary act on the part of the Respondent. He had chosen to do that and had signed an undertaking to abide by the code."

The Adjudication Panel made no references at all to Ken Livingstone's political views, or policies, which would have come into play if some sort of elected panel were involved. That is exactly the reason that we have non--political courts and judges.

Surely the present system is better than making breaches of the Code of Conduct into criminal offences, where an unelected judge and an unelected jury would probably have imposed an even harsher penalty ?

The only intervention by the Government, appears to be in defence of Ken Livingstone, where, according to the text of the Decision (see the next posting on this blog), his lawyers (will we the London taxpayers be footing the bill for these ?) indicated that the Government was thinking of changing the rules of the Code of Conduct to exclude more of the private life of those coming under this statutory Code of Conduct, without actually going so far as to make a firm promise or to say eaxactly what they mean.

Ken Livingstone has not been found to have been racist etc. but of bringing the office of Mayor of London into disrepute, which is partially as a result of his arrogant refusal to apologise after what even he has admitted were remarks which some or a lot of people would find insulting.

Most of the minority of the electorate who did vote Ken Livingstone into power did not vote him in to do things like that.

The day to day activities in the life and gevernance of London is hardly going to effected by the absence of Ken Livingstone's from office for a month.

@Sarah - the members of the Adjudication Panel do not appear to have anything to do with "the Mail", but you seem to have forgotten that Ken Livingstone certainly used to be paid to write restaurant reviews for the Evening Standard itself.

The decision to suspend the Mayor of London conforms to an acceptable legal practice. An aggrieved party in any dispute is entitled to turn to a judge, in this case a tribunal to seek redress. The legal system is entitled to offer a combination of two options. It may offer compensation to the aggrieved party or it may punish. In this instance the journalist requested compensation by way of an apology. The mayor was not willing to offer this. The tribunal was asked to determine if the mayor, holding a high office, was undermining the standards of such an office by not offering this compensation. It found the mayor was indeed undermining the standards of such an office. The tribunal therefore punished the mayor. The mayor has been suspended on full pay for a period of time. This conforms to an acceptable legal practice both on the level of the individual as well as by setting an example of the acceptable standard of the office of mayor. Some have questioned if this is democratic while others have questioned if this has undermined the ability of London to function. In the first instance the English legal system is based on people appointed to be judges by those who have been elected. This is known as indirect democratic representation. The Law Lords are not elected either. Another example are European judges similarly appointed. Secondly it is the Office of the Mayor of London that is necessary for the ability of London function. It is not any specific person such as Mr Livingston who is currently mayor. In this instance the Mayor has been suspended and his deputy is handling the affairs of the office. The Office of the Mayor continues to function. Another previous instance that can be exampled is when Mr Livingston was in Singapore for the decision of the Olympic Committee on the location of the 2012 games. That was 7 July 2005 when the terrorist attacks took place on the London Transport System. The Office of the Mayor functioned without Mr Livingston.

Didn't a hospital porter get sacked recently for doing the German walk from Fawlty Towers, as somebody claimed it was offensive.

I would like to see the same standards applied for all public servants.

Unless you believe All Animals are Equal, but some are more equal than others!

I am an Israeli and even though I do not want to intervene on internal politics of the UK, I think there are certain comments one, especially if he is a politician, should refrain of expressing. I support the judges' decision to suspend Ken Livingstone. Although just an 'educational punishment' was imposed, it should be a sign of where do we have to put the border line before we express our comments. Ken's comments about global politics, should also be restrained - It is clearly shown that the manis not really aware of diplomatic processes and the international history and policy - he therefore should focus in what he is good at - Developing the great city of London. Thanks.

i agree with jim steadman,how could anyone believe that mr livingstone is racist? this is a witch hunt by the evening standard.i have only read the paper a few times because i live in a differant part of the country , but i was shocked by a lot of the content , i found the general tone quite aggresive. i believe london would be a poorer place in lots of ways without ken, his intentions are good.

@ isabel - if you live in an area outside of the Evening Standard's region, then you are lucky enough not to have to pay for Ken's policies.

The Adjudication Panel did not find Ken to be racist, but did find that he had brought the office of Mayor of London into disrepute, according to the Code of Conduct, which he had agreed to be bound by, when he accepted the position.

dear mol,thank you for your reply.rgardless of where we live we all have to pay for our councils policies whether we agree with them or not.however what happens in the capital does have a trickle down effect and maybe ken should have apoligised but this is showing everyone that we all have a right to hear all sides of the conversation/argument before being condemed as a bad guy . i continue to believe that mr livingstone is doing a good job.

ken is a disgrace, the major aspect of the case was not his suspension by an unelected panel (judges are also unlected) but his behaviour and refusla to apologise for his comments which were clearly offensive, especially from soemone who cmapaigns so energetically against prejudice (with hollow intentions) what's more he hides behind the value of free speach but denies it to the writers of the Danish cartoons. His fee speach revolves around him and what he wants to say but not what he wants to hear. Does anyone actually believe he would have made an offfensive historical comment to a muslim, the peaople who he and the 'left' culturally appeases in some sort of unholy alliance...(how can balance support for extremist islam with female equality and gay rights)...Ken and the 'left' he represents are the true threat to our democracy

Mr. Common Sense, I agree with what you say. Ken undoubtly holds doubles tandards for freedom of spech, human rights and of course for muslims and jews.

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