London’s mayor still refuses to apologize for “Nazi remark”

February 18, 2005

* Finally, Tony Blair asks London's mayor to apologize for his 'Nazi remarks'

This dispatch is mainly designed for subscribers to this email list who live in North America. The mainstream liberal media there, such as The New York Times, have all but ignored this story – the third serious instance of anti-Semitism this month by senior members of Tony Blair's ruling Labour party in Britain. Given their track record, the reluctance of The New York Times to cover this story is no doubt connected to the fact that the Labour Party is a left-leaning party, and not on the far right. There have been dozens of articles on this matter over the past eight days in Britain, Israel, and elsewhere.

[I have kept various spellings in this dispatch in the original British English.]

 

CONTENTS

1. "London mayor calls Jewish reporter 'war criminal'" (Reuters, February 11, 2005)
2. "Blair Seeks Mayor's Apology Over Nazi Remark" (AP, February 17, 2005)
3. "London's mayor irks Jewish groups" (Washington Times, February 16, 2005)
4. "Livingstone ignores Blair demand for apology over Jewish slur" (London Times, February 17, 2005)
5. "Holocaust survivor demands apology from mayor" (The Guardian, February 10, 2005)



THE MAYOR TELLS A JEW HE SHOULD BE AT A CONCENTRATION CAMP

[Note by Tom Gross]

Over a week ago (on February 10), London's mayor, Ken Livingstone, when told by a journalist from the city's main newspaper (the Evening Standard) that he was Jewish, compared that journalist to a Nazi concentration camp guard. (The reporter was not interviewing the mayor on any issue connected to Jewish matters at the time the remark was made.)

The remarks by Livingstone – a member of Tony Blair's ruling Labor Party – came only a few days after the Labour Party was widely criticized for launching its re-election campaign with anti-Semitic posters depicting the leader of the opposition Conservative party, Michael Howard (who is of Jewish origin) as a grotesque Fagin or Shylock-like figure. (The UK general election will likely take place in early May.)

WHY NO REPORTING IN THE NEW YORK TIMES?

I have not reported on either of these matters on this email list until now because - even with their poor record of highlighting the anti-Semitism that is now rife among sections of elitist "liberal" society in western Europe and elsewhere - I expected the mainstream American liberal media to do so.

They have not, however, done so. (The New York Times website finally carried an Associated Press report on the Livingstone story yesterday, but as you can see from, the Reuters report attached below, the Times editors have in fact been aware of this for over a week. Those newspapers in the US, which are not left-leaning, such as The Washington Times, have reported on the matter. The New York Times has a far larger staff and resources, and a greater number of news pages, than the Washington Times.)

The controversy has been reported on in European papers and in Israel, and remains front-page news in the UK, where Tony Blair took almost a week to call on Livingstone to apologize.

BLAIR EXPLOITS ANTI-SEMITISM IN A GRAB FOR VOTES

According to some observers, Blair is making a blatant bid to tap into revived anti-Semitic sentiment among a slice of the British population and in particular among British Muslims who live in marginal constituencies and are supposedly angry with Blair for his support of the Iraq war. (There are at least 13 marginal parliamentary seats in which the Muslim vote could swing the result of the election, and seven seats where the Muslim vote registers at more than 25 per cent of the electorate. There are about 280,000 Jewish people in the UK, and about 1.8 million Muslims.)

Livingstone's remarks came just hours after a report was released showing anti-Semitic attacks in Britain had reached their highest level in modern times. Violent assaults against British Jews rose by 54 per cent last year.

LIVINGSTONE'S DEFENDERS IN THE UK MEDIA

Mayor Livingstone – who last year embraced an Islamic cleric, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who had said Israeli Jews should be killed – has been condemned by many commentators in the British press.

But the mayor has been also defended by some British media commentators. They include Albert Scardino in the Guardian, Johann Hari in the Independent, and Boris Johnson in the Daily Telegraph.

Scardino, who yesterday called Livingstone "colourful," is an executive editor of the left-leaning Guardian newspaper.

Hari called Livingstone "cheeky" and said his "supposed anti-Semitism" had been "distorted." He said the remarks to the Jewish reporter were "a bit of a cheap shot." "Crude? Yes. Anti-Semitic? Don't be silly," wrote Hari.

Johnson called the mayor's remarks a "a non-story" in an article in yesterday's conservative-leaning Daily Telegraph, titled "Whatever you do, Ken, don't apologise."

"Any apology... would be a surrender to ... bullying," added Johnson. (Johnson is editor of the Spectator, a rightist weekly political magazine that has recently carried a number of anti-Semitic references in its pages. He is also a columnist for The Daily Telegraph and a Conservative MP.)

CALLS TO RESIGN

Other British journalists, such as Melanie Phillips (a subscriber to this email list), have called on Livingstone to resign. "The Qaradawi affair proved it; now this ouburst reinforces it. The Mayor of London is not fit for public office," she wrote.

The deputy mayor of London, who is the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, has strongly criticized the mayor.

Livingstone denies he is an anti-Semite and said his remarks were aimed at the Evening Standard, a newspaper that has been critical of his policies. But, as the Guardian revealed yesterday, Livingstone actually earned a total of £32,657 (about $60,000) from the Evening Standard between June 1998 and February 2000 for restaurant reviews.

I attach five articles, with summaries first for those who don't have time to read them in full.

-- Tom Gross

 

SUMMARIES

A WEEK OLD, BUT NEW YORK TIMES IS NOT STILL NOT INTERESTED

[I attach this article, which is over a week old, and was released by Reuters news agency on their worldwide news wire, as an example of how newspapers like The New York Times could have covered this story a week ago, but chose not to – TG]

"London mayor calls Jewish reporter "war criminal"" (Reuters, February 11, 2005).

London's outspoken Mayor Ken Livingstone refused to apologise for comparing a Jewish newspaper reporter to a war criminal and concentration camp guard, despite complaints from Britain's main Jewish group. "Were you a German war criminal?" the Evening Standard quoted Livingstone as saying on a tape recording of the exchange with its reporter Oliver Finegold. When the journalist said he was Jewish and was offended by the mayor's remarks, Livingstone replied: "Actually you are just like a concentration camp guard." ... A frequent, outspoken critic of Israeli policy, Livingstone has denied in the past that he is anti-Semitic. A report released on Thursday said violent anti-Semitic attacks in Britain had reached record levels, prompting calls by Jewish leaders for more to be done to protect their community.

 

TONY BLAIR TAKES ALMOST A WEEK TO DEMAND AN APOLOGY

[I attach this article to show it took almost a week for Tony Blair to call on the mayor, a member of his Labour Party, to apologize – TG]

"Blair Seeks Mayor's Apology Over Nazi Remark" (The Associated Press, February 17, 2005).

Prime Minister Tony Blair urged London's mayor on Wednesday to apologize for an offensive remark made to a Jewish journalist comparing him to a Nazi concentration camp guard. Mr. Blair said he did not believe that the comment by the mayor, Ken Livingstone, was meant to be anti-Semitic, or that it should jeopardize his job. But the prime minister urged the mayor to say he was sorry. "A lot of us in politics get angry with journalists from time to time, but in the circumstances, and to the journalist because he was a Jewish journalist," Mr. Blair said on television. "Yes, he should apologize. Let's just apologize and move on - that's the sensible thing."

Mr. Livingstone's comment coincided with the release of a new report showing that the number of anti-Semitic attacks in Britain rose sharply to record levels in 2004... In January, Prince Harry, 20, third in line to the British throne, caused an uproar by attending a costume party in London wearing a swastika armband.

... For several days, Mr. Livingstone has turned down requests for an apology from Jewish and Holocaust groups, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell and the London Assembly.

 

LONDON'S OLYMPIC BID "COULD BE HARMED"

[I attach this article as an example of how smaller-circulation conservative leaning newspapers such as the Washington Times reported this story, while the New York Times which has ignored the issue – TG]

"London's mayor irks Jewish groups"(By Al Webb, The Washington Times, February 16, 2005).

The mayor of London has infuriated Jewish leaders and Holocaust survivors in Britain by accusing a Jewish reporter of acting like a Nazi concentration camp guard, and then refusing to apologize for the anti-Semitic jibes.

... The defiant mayor, Ken Livingstone, sometimes known as "Red Ken" for his socialist politics, rejected growing demands that he retract the accusations he leveled at reporter Oliver Finegold, insisting his comments were not racist and that he had no intention of withdrawing them.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews immediately lodged a formal complaint with the Standards Board of England, a local government watchdog that has the power to ban Mr. Livingstone from holding public office for five years if he is found guilty of misconduct.

... The furor began at a party in honor of one of Mr. Blair's Labor members of Parliament who was celebrating 20 years of "coming out" as a homosexual. Mr. Finegold, a reporter for the London Evening Standard, asked the mayor how the festivities were going.

"What did you do before?" asked Mr. Livingstone. "Were you a German war criminal?" To which the reporter replied, "No, I'm Jewish, I wasn't a German war criminal and I'm, actually quite offended by that. So how did tonight go?"

"All right, well, you might be [Jewish]," the mayor said, "but actually you are just like a concentration camp guard. You are doing it just because you are paid to, aren't you?" Mr. Livingstone said... Mr. Livingstone dismissed any suggestion that the uproar could harm London's Olympics bid, and suggested that his actions in standing up for his beliefs might even impress the visiting inspectors...

 

LIVINGSTONE IGNORES BLAIR'S DEMAND FOR AN APOLOGY

"Livingstone ignores Blair demand for apology over Jewish slur" (London Times, February 17, 2005).

"Ken Livingstone was back on a collision course with Labour’s leadership last night after he defied Tony Blair's demand for him to apologise for an allegedly anti-Semitic outburst that has cast a shadow over London’s 2012 Olympic bid... the Mayor of London could face disciplinary action if he did not withdraw comments in which he likened a Jewish reporter to a "concentration camp guard".

The Prime Minister's intervention came on the second day of the four-day visit by an inspection team from the International Olympic Committee to assess the capital’s bid for the 2012 Games.

... A spokesman for the Board of Deputies of British Jews said: "The offence taken to Ken Livingstone’s comments is clearly not limited to the Jewish community. The public is clearly of the opinion that he should apologise."

... Mr Livingstone, in a terse statement, said that he "was not making further comment on this issue at the present time" as he was dealing with the IOC visit...

... The Conservatives on the London Assembly have lodged a formal complaint with the Commission for Racial Equality. Bob Neill, the Tory leader, said: "As London's senior civic leader the mayor has an explicit responsibility to promote ever-better race relations. I believe that in his failure to apologise he has abjectly failed to do that and may in fact have badly damaged them."

 

A SURVIVOR OF AUSCHWITZ, BUCHENWALD AND BERGEN-BELSEN COMMENTS

"Survivor demands apology from mayor" (Media Guardian, February 10, 2005).

A survivor of the Holocaust has called on Ken Livingstone to apologise for remarks he made in an exchange with an Evening Standard journalist, comparing the reporter to a "concentration camp guard". Gina Turgel, a Polish Jew, questioned how a man in his position could "make light" of the pain and suffering the survivors of the Holocaust felt.

"I am quite a placid person, but this makes me angry," she said... "How can a man in the mayor's position make light of the Holocaust? Particularly when as a nation we have just taken time to remember the horror of the past. Perhaps the mayor does not understand the pain we went through. As a survivor I hope the mayor will make a public apology, but that would only be a first step," said Ms Turgel.

The 68-year-old survived Auschwitz, Buchenwald and the Bergen-Belsen death camps. Her three brothers and two sisters were killed by the Nazis and she now lives in Britain. Two weeks ago she was chosen to lead the Queen to her seat in Westminster Hall at the national ceremony held to mark Holocaust Memorial Day...



FULL ARTICLES

LONDON MAYOR CALLS JEWISH REPORTER "WAR CRIMINAL"

London mayor calls Jewish reporter "war criminal"
By James Kilner
Reuters
February 11, 2005

London's outspoken Mayor Ken Livingstone refused to apologise on Friday for comparing a Jewish newspaper reporter to a war criminal and concentration camp guard, despite complaints from Britain's main Jewish group.

"Were you a German war criminal?" the Evening Standard quoted Livingstone as saying on a tape recording of the exchange with its reporter Oliver Finegold.

When the journalist said he was Jewish and was offended by the mayor's remarks, Livingstone replied: "Actually you are just like a concentration camp guard."

He also called the Evening Standard, a London newspaper he has clashed with in the past, a "load of scumbags." The confrontation took place outside a City Hall party to mark the 20th anniversary of former national government minister Chris Smith's announcement that he was gay.

Jon Benjamin, director-general of the board of deputies of British Jews, said: "We are depressed and upset by what really amounts to some rather bizarre comments.

"We have sent in a complaint over these offensive and upsetting comments," he told Reuters on Friday.

A statement from the mayor's office accused the Standard of harassing guests and provoking the mayor. His office said the mayor would not comment further.

"The discussion between the journalist and the mayor escalated, from relatively light-hearted comments of the mayor asking whether the journalist's previous job had been as a war criminal - given the paper he was working for - to the journalist eventually telling the mayor to 'f++k off'," the statement read.

A frequent, outspoken critic of Israeli policy, Livingstone has denied in the past that he is anti-Semitic.

A report released on Thursday said violent anti-Semitic attacks in Britain had reached record levels, prompting calls by Jewish leaders for more to be done to protect their community.

 

BLAIR SEEKS MAYOR'S APOLOGY OVER NAZI REMARK

Blair Seeks Mayor's Apology Over Nazi Remark
The Associated Press
February 17, 2005

Prime Minister Tony Blair urged London's mayor on Wednesday to apologize for an offensive remark made to a Jewish journalist comparing him to a Nazi concentration camp guard.

Mr. Blair said he did not believe that the comment by the mayor, Ken Livingstone, was meant to be anti-Semitic, or that it should jeopardize his job. But the prime minister urged the mayor to say he was sorry.

"A lot of us in politics get angry with journalists from time to time, but in the circumstances, and to the journalist because he was a Jewish journalist," Mr. Blair said on television. "Yes, he should apologize. Let's just apologize and move on - that's the sensible thing."

Mr. Livingstone's comment coincided with the release of a new report showing that the number of anti-Semitic attacks in Britain rose sharply to record levels in 2004, including physical attacks, name calling, hate mail and the desecration of property, like the vandalism of synagogues with swastikas.

In January, Prince Harry, 20, third in line to the British throne, caused an uproar by attending a costume party in London wearing a swastika armband. The royal family issued an apology on his behalf.

In addition, the opposition Conservative Party recently accused Mr. Blair's Labor Party of using an anti-Semitic advertisement on one of its Web sites. It showed the faces of the Tory leader, Michael Howard, and his deputy, both of whom are Jewish, transposed onto the bodies of flying pigs.

Asked about Mr. Livingstone, Mr. Howard said Wednesday that he thought it was important for politicians to talk with "civility and courtesy about the issues we all face." He added, "I think it is a matter of great sadness that we are not seeing that from the Labor Party."

Lord Janner, chairman of the Holocaust Educational Trust, praised Mr. Blair for urging Mr. Livingstone to apologize. Speaking on ITV News, Lord Janner said of the mayor: "I would never have regarded him in the past as being anti-Semitic. But the sort of remark he made is anti-Semitic."

For several days, Mr. Livingstone has turned down requests for an apology from Jewish and Holocaust groups, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell and the London Assembly.

He has said he did not believe he had done anything wrong.

 

LONDON'S MAYOR IRKS JEWISH GROUPS

London's mayor irks Jewish groups
By Al Webb
The Washington Times
February 16, 2005

The mayor of London has infuriated Jewish leaders and Holocaust survivors in Britain by accusing a Jewish reporter of acting like a Nazi concentration camp guard, and then refusing to apologize for the anti-Semitic jibes.

The flap could not have come at a worse time, as International Olympic Committee representatives from around the globe arrived in London yesterday to tour the city and make a judgment on whether London is fit to host the 2012 Summer Olympics.

The defiant mayor, Ken Livingstone, sometimes known as "Red Ken" for his socialist politics, rejected growing demands that he retract the accusations he leveled at reporter Oliver Finegold, insisting his comments were not racist and that he had no intention of withdrawing them.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews immediately lodged a formal complaint with the Standards Board of England, a local government watchdog that has the power to ban Mr. Livingstone from holding public office for five years if he is found guilty of misconduct.

With competition for the world's most important international sports spectacular at a critical stage, fears grew here that Mr. Livingstone's jibes at the reporter could do London's bid irreparable harm and tilt the odds in favor of one of the four rival candidate cities " New York, Paris, Moscow and or Madrid. The winning city is to be announced on July 6. At the moment, Paris is considered the favorite.

A crucial meeting between the 13 Olympics inspectors and British government officials is scheduled for Friday at Prime Minister Tony Blair's Downing Street office, and among those expected to meet and greet them is Mr. Livingstone.

The furor began at a party in honor of one of Mr. Blair's Labor members of Parliament who was celebrating 20 years of "coming out" as a homosexual.

Mr. Finegold, a reporter for the London Evening Standard, asked the mayor how the festivities were going.

"What did you do before?" asked Mr. Livingstone. "Were you a German war criminal?" To which the reporter replied, "No, I'm Jewish, I wasn't a German war criminal and I'm, actually quite offended by that. So how did tonight go?"

"All right, well, you might be [Jewish]," the mayor said, "but actually you are just like a concentration camp guard. You are doing it just because you are paid to, aren't you?" Mr. Livingstone said.

Mr. Livingstone, an outspoken left-wing politician who claims he has been the victim of a hate campaign at the hands of the Evening Standard for the past 25 years, then told Mr. Finegold that "your paper is a load of scumbags and reactionary bigots." The Board of Deputies of British Jews, whose members also represent victims of the Holocaust, immediately demanded an investigation, and the Greater London Assembly, the 25-member elected body that helps the mayor govern the capital, voted unanimously to demand that Mr. Livingstone withdraw his remarks.

But the mayor, at a press conference yesterday, flatly refused to apologize for his remarks.

"You may think that my remarks to that reporter " and many over the years are offensive," he said. "That is purely a matter of judgment. ... If you think [my comments] are racist, I think you are wrong... It would be very easy for me to buy off media pressure by lying, but I am not going to do it."

Mr. Livingstone dismissed any suggestion that the uproar could harm London's Olympics bid, and suggested that his actions in standing up for his beliefs might even impress the visiting inspectors.

"I think it is important that the IOC members realize that when we get the Games, inevitably there will be some in the media that are going to go for them, and that they have a mayor who is not going to panic, change course or get in a great flap," he said.

Instead, he said, what the inspectors will find is that they will have a London mayor who "will deliver the Games on time and to budget."

 

LIVINGSTONE IGNORES BLAIR DEMAND FOR APOLOGY OVER JEWISH SLUR

Livingstone ignores Blair demand for apology over Jewish slur
By Andrew Pierce, Sam Coates and Helen Nugent
(London) Times
February 17, 2005

Ken Livingstone was back on a collision course with Labour’s leadership last night after he defied Tony Blair’s demand for him to apologise for an allegedly anti-Semitic outburst that has cast a shadow over London’s 2012 Olympic bid.

Members of Labour's powerful National Executive Committee, who have the power to expel party members, said that the Mayor of London could face disciplinary action if he did not withdraw comments in which he likened a Jewish reporter to a "concentration camp guard".

The Prime Minister's intervention came on the second day of the four-day visit by an inspection team from the International Olympic Committee to assess the capital's bid for the 2012 Games.

Mr Blair, asked on 5 television if Mr Livingstone should say sorry, said: "Yes, it's a simple answer. A lot of us get angry with journalists from time to time, but in the circumstances in which the journalist was a Jewish journalist, yes, he should apologise. He should apologise and move on."

Pressure is growing on Mr Livingstone from all wings of the Labour Party to climb down only 12 months after his suspension from the party was lifted. Mr Livingstone was expelled for breaking his promise in March 2000 not to stand against a Labour candidate in the mayoral election.

A senior member of the NEC, who declined to be named, said: "If Livingstone fails to apologise or to make amends by explaining himself, the NEC will have a duty to investigate the issue."

Mark Seddon, a member of the NEC who has been a vocal supporter of Mr Livingstone, said: "Ken has a great record on race relations. I do not for one minute think he is anti-Semitic. But these remarks are unacceptable. The NEC will have to tell him to apologise. If he does not his reselection as a Labour Party candidate could be re-examined and called into question."

Mr Livingstone, whose signature is on all the bid documents, was among the team who began detailed presentations yesterday morning to the 13 IOC inspectors.

Tony McNulty, the Transport Minister with special responsibility for London, speaking minutes after addressing the IOC team, said: "The remarks were offensive, gratuitous and insensitive and he should apologise."

Mike Lee, the London 2012 communications director, said at a press conference: "This issue is a matter for the mayor to resolve. Tessa Jowell (Culture Secretary) and Tony Blair have said what should happen next. It's clear that it's time for him to apologise."

A spokesman for the Board of Deputies of British Jews said: "The offence taken to Ken Livingstone's comments is clearly not limited to the Jewish community. The public is clearly of the opinion that he should apologise.'

Lord Janner of Braunstone, the Labour peer who was a British Army war crimes investigator, said: "(Livingstone's) remarks were totally offensive and disgraceful. I cannot think of anything more offensive or disgusting for Mr Livingstone to say.

"The Prime Minister is the leader of Mr Livingstone's party and if he doesn't listen to his party leader on an issue such as this then he should resign as Mayor of London. There is a real danger now that he is damaging London’s Olympic prospects."

Mr Livingstone, in a terse statement, said that he "was not making further comment on this issue at the present time" as he was dealing with the IOC visit. The statement repeated his insistence that he despised anti-Semitism with the same virulence as all other forms of racism.

The Conservatives on the London Assembly have lodged a formal complaint with the Commission for Racial Equality. Bob Neill, the Tory leader, said: "As London's senior civic leader the mayor has an explicit responsibility to promote ever-better race relations. I believe that in his failure to apologise he has abjectly failed to do that and may in fact have badly damaged them."

 

SURVIVOR DEMANDS APOLOGY FROM MAYOR

Survivor demands apology from mayor
By Lisa O'Carroll
The Guardian (Media Guardian section)
February 10, 2005

A survivor of the Holocaust has called on Ken Livingstone to apologise for remarks he made in an exchange with an Evening Standard journalist, comparing the reporter to a "concentration camp guard".

Gina Turgel, a Polish Jew, questioned how a man in his position could "make light" of the pain and suffering the survivors of the Holocaust felt.

"I am quite a placid person, but this makes me angry," she said.

The mayor of London told the reporter, Oliver Finegold, that he should not be working for a paper that has a "record of supporting fascism" - a reference to its sister paper, the Daily Mail, which flirted with fascism in the 1930s.

In an extraordinary tirade, Mr Livingstone started by asking Mr Finegold whether he was considering "getting treatment" for working with the Standard. In what must be assumed to be a reference to the Mail's links with fascism, he went on to ask whether Finegold was a "German war criminal".

"How can a man in the mayor's position make light of the Holocaust? Particularly when as a nation we have just taken time to remember the horror of the past. Perhaps the mayor does not understand the pain we went through. As a survivor I hope the mayor will make a public apology, but that would only be a first step," said Ms Turgel.

The 68-year-old survived Auschwitz, Buchenwald and the Bergen-Belsen death camps. Her three brothers and two sisters were killed by the Nazis and she now lives in Britain.

Two weeks ago she was chosen to lead the Queen to her seat in Westminster Hall at the national ceremony held to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

The mayor's remarks have also raised temperatures at the gay and lesbian lobby group, Outrage, which says it is bewildered by the mayor's "bizarre outburst" which took place outside a party for gay MP Chris Smith who was celebrating 20 years since coming out.

Today the mayor's office defended the exchange and claimed Finegold and his photographer had been harassing gay and lesbian guests on their way to and from the party.

"Of all the mayor's many events and receptions, the Evening Standard chose to 'door-step' the people attending an event with a large number of lesbian and gay attendees, thrusting a camera into their faces as they left," Mr Livingstone's spokesman said.

"The mayor took the Standard's relatively unusual actions in this regard to be harassment of a predominantly lesbian and gay event.

"In these circumstances it is hardly surprising that the discussion between the journalist and the mayor escalated, from relatively light-hearted comments of the mayor asking whether the journalist's previous job had been as a war criminal - given the paper he was working for - to the journalist eventually telling the mayor to 'f**k off'.

"The Standard's Diary journalists, who only ever write anonymously, can dish it out but they aren't prepared to take it."

Finegold was not available for comment but he has a tape recording of the exchange which the Standard has played to MediaGuardian.co.uk.

"We can confirm there is a tape recording of the conversation and Oliver [Finegold] did not swear at the mayor," said a senior executive.

The spokesperson went on to justify the reference to fascism by detailing the links between the Rothermere family - the founders of the Daily Mail, whose company Associated Newspapers took over the Evening Standard 25 years ago - and fascist leaders in the 1930s.

Brett Lock, spokesman for Outrage, said: "It was a bizarre outburst, bizarre that the mayor should be using the gay and lesbian community as an excuse for what was a high profile public event. I do now see how media exposure could not have been expected.

"The mayor's suggestion that the gay and lesbian community need to be protected from photographers - it's almost as if he expects us to skulk around in the dark and then he swoops down like Superman and comes to our rescue."


All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.