Ken Livingstone and Kevan Jones had a very awkward argument on live TV

Hours after having to apologise for making derogatory comments about one of his colleagues' mental health, Ken Livingstone went on live television to explain himself... to that very colleague.

The former mayor of London faced calls to resign within hours of being appointed to work on Labour's defence policy review on Wednesday.

After shadow defence minister Kevan Jones suggested that Livingstone did not have the requisite expertise, Livingstone hit back by seeming to imply that Jones' history of depression (which he has spoken about in the Commons) meant he was not up to his job either, telling the Mirror:

I think [Jones] might need some psychiatric help. He's obviously very depressed and disturbed.

He should pop off and see his GP before he makes these offensive comments.

Livingstone later half-apologised (by saying he was brought up in south London) and then fully apologised as calls for his resignation increased.

But when the pair faced off on Channel 4 News at 7pm, it was clear that the apology was not enough for Jones:

In a quite extraordinary five-minute exchange in which the pair repeatedly spoke over one another, Livingstone maintained that he was not the one who started it:

You provoked this row, you questioned my ability to do this job. Why didn't you just pick up the phone and ask me what I understood about it? I've been debating military and defence issues for 45 years. Both within our party and in the media.

Jones retorted that just because he may have criticised Livingstone's experience, that did not give his colleague the right to "stigmatise" people with mental health issues:

The fact of the matter is, that it doesn't excuse the offensive language used in reply which has done a huge damage to the debate we have in the UK about mental health and the good work that the Labour party, Jeremy, myself and the charity sector have done to address stigma.

Just a reminder: yes, these two men are members of the same party.

Watch the full video below:

More: Ken Livingstone got a new job and there were calls for him to resign within hours

The Conversation (0)