Ken Livingstone, the anti-Semitic former mayor of London, has lashed out again at Britain’s Jewish community.
Speaking to the BBC’s Newsnight program, the radical politician known locally as “Red Ken” fell back on the classic stereotype that “Jews have money” to accuse Britain’s Jewish community of supporting the Conservative Party today because the community has become rich.
“As the Jewish community got richer, it moved over to voting for Mrs. [Margaret] Thatcher as they did in Finchley,” he said, referring to one of London’s northern districts with a large Jewish community.
“The defining issue is not your color or your religion,” Livingstone said. “It’s your level of income. People vote according to their income.”
Adrian Cohen, Chairman of the London Jewish Forum, responded to the comment in The Telegraph newspaper, saying “politicians shouldn’t write off parts of the electorate based on crude assumptions about their perceived relative affluence.
“Many Jews are not rich, indeed many struggle to make ends meet. In any event there are many factors which influence how a person chooses to vote and one shouldn’t refer to Jewish Londoners as if they were homogeneous,” Cohen said.
There is no indication whether Ed Miliband, the Labour Party’s Jewish chairman, has responded to Livingstone’s latest outburst.