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Ken's latest outburst

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2006-03-22

Ken Livingstone

Ken Livingstone

London Mayor Ken Livingstone has been attacked over comments he made about two Sephardi businessmen and suggesting they should go back to their own country.

Mr Livingstone's comments about David and Simon Reuben came following an ongoing dispute relating to development work going on in east London in preparation for the 2012 Olympics.

In a speech at City Hall, Mr Livingstone said that the two brothers: "go back (to their own country) and see if they can do better under the ayatollahs".

The outburst by the Mayor is said to have followed problems between the two over the way in which a development is going and it is believed that Mr Livingstone thinks it is not progressing quick enough.

Both brothers have no connection with Iran having been born in Bombay (now Mumbai) in India of Iraqi descent. The family came to the UK in the 1950s.

"This is the latest anti-Semitic remark by Livingstone, he clearly has a major problem with the Jewish business community," said Brian Coleman, Conservative assembly member for Barnet and Camden. "To suggest that these men should go to Iran is shocking, outrageous and grossly offensive to the entire Jewish community."

Last month, the London Mayor was held to account by the Adjudication Panel for England over comments he made to a Jewish journalist by suggesting he was like a Nazi concentration camp guard.