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

Bethan McKernan@mck_beth
Wednesday 18 November 2015 18:00
news

Let us walk you through how today went for Ken Livingstone, former mayor of London:

7:00am

Politics Home writes a story which says leader of the Labour party Jeremy Corbyn has appointed ally Livingstone, who has long campaigned against the Trident programme, to work with shadow defence secretary Maria Eagle on Labour’s defence policy review. Eagle has previously raised security concerns over Corbyn's anti-nuclear stance.

Maria Eagle

8:30am

Politics Home puts up another story quoting shadow defence minister Kevan Jones, who says of the appointment:

I'm not sure Ken knows anything about defence. It will only damage [Labour's] credibility amongst those that do and who care about defence.

10:30am

Livingstone hits back at his Labour rival, 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.

10:31am

Politicians, journalists and everyone else on the internet point out that Livingstone's comments are deeply offensive to those who suffer from mental illnesses.

Jones, who has spoken movingly in parliament about his struggles with depression in the past, says:

I find these comments gravely offensive not just personally but also to the many thousands who suffer from mental illness... I and a lot of people will be very angry about such insensitive and stupid comments.

Offensive statements like this just reinforce the stigma about mental illness.

Kevan Jones

11:00am - 1:00pm

Livingstone gives several interviews in which he claims he doesn't know who Jones is and refuses to retract his comments over the shadow defence minister's mental health.

12:30pm

A Daily Telegraph article calls Livingstone a "hate-filled cockroach" and calls on Corbyn to sack him. It also includes this poll:

1.10pm

Speaking on Radio 4's The World at One, Livingstone says that Jones started it:

If he’s upset, I’m sorry. But he can’t blame me, he was the one who came out and made this attack on me.

I grew up in south London where if someone's rude to you, you are rude back.

He also reiterates he does not support renewing the Trident nuclear programme:

[Eagle] and I need to sit down and look at the facts, get real data, and see if this is the best way of spending our money. At the moment, under this government, our army is the smallest it’s been since the First World War. And that’s making us vulnerable.

1:30pm

Corbyn tells Livingstone to apologise in a hastily organised statement.

2:00pm

Livingstone finally gives a proper apology to Kevan from his Twitter account.

Slow hand claps all round.

More: The latest Jeremy Corbyn scandal: he can't sing 'Incy Wincy Spider'

Trending