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Ken Livingstone apologises 'unreservedly' for insulting MP with history of depression  - Politics live

Ken Livingstone apologises 'unreservedly' for insulting MP with history of depression - Politics live

Rolling coverage of all the day’s political developments as they happen, including David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn at PMQs Labour MP Kevan Jones criticises Livingstone’s defence review appointmentLivingstone says Jones may ‘need psychiatric help’PMQs - VerdictLivingstone says he is sorry for upsetting JonesAfternoon summary 5.06pm GMT Q:How do u feel about working with Ken Livingstone ? Maria Eagle: I'm sanguine about itMore 16 and 17-year-olds voted [in the Scottish independence referendum] than 18 to 24-year-olds and evidence from Austria and Norway, where they also have votes for 16 to 18-year-olds, suggests they are more likely to continue voting if they start at a younger age. 4.31pm GMT The Survation poll (see 3.36pm) suggests the public have reservations about bombing Islamic State (Isis) in Syria because it shows, when offered a choice, people would prefer Britain getting involved in a multilateral solution.But, when the question is phrased another way, people do seem to favour bombing. According to this YouGov survey (pdf), when asked if the RAF should take part in air strikes against Isis in Syria, 58% said they were in favour and only 22% said they were opposed.I used today’s @yougov poll to compare how people think Corbyn is doing with Ed Miliband 5 years ago. Not Great. pic.twitter.com/92nszw2wM8The good news for Corbyn is in every group more think he’s doing very well than thought Ed was 5 years ago.. but.. pic.twitter.com/MOD8fnligy..bad news is his enthusiasts are dwarfed by those who think he’s doing very badly. He is fairly polarising. pic.twitter.com/0IFoR7hrCfIt’s fair to say Corbyn is not going down very well among over 60s. Among 18-24s & Labour voters it’s closer pic.twitter.com/zZsLYek4Yb 4.02pm GMT At PMQs David Cameron also said that neighbourhood policing numbers had gone up by 3,800 and that in the capital city there had been a “500% increase in neighbourhood policing.”Labour say this is “staggeringly wrong”. This is from Joanne McCartney, Labour’s policing spokeswoman in the London assembly.The prime minister is staggeringly wrong to say that neighbourhood policing has increased in London, it hasn’t gone up 1% let alone 500%. Since May 2010 the capital has lost 5,702 uniformed officers from its neighbourhood policing teams. That’s 2,497 PCs and 3,205 PCSOs lost who could have been on our streets fighting crime in the capital. 3.45pm GMT The Survation poll came up at PMQs when Angus Robertson, the SNP leader at Westminster, asked David Cameron if he would seek a United Nations security council resolution before taking military action against Islamic State (Isis) in Syria. Robertson mentioned the Survation figures (see 3.36pm) in one of his questions about this.Cameron said that it was “always preferable” to have UN backing, but he made it clear that he was prepared to act without it.Of course, it’s always preferable in these circumstances to have the fulling backing of the UN Security Council. I have to say what matters most of all is any action we take would both be legal and would help to protect our country and people right here. You cannot, as I said yesterday, outsource to a Russian veto the decisions we need to keep our country safe ...If they are vetoed or threatened with a veto over and over again, my job, frankly, as prime minister is not to read a Survation opinion poll but to do the right thing to keep our country safe. 3.36pm GMT Last night Survation published some polling figures looking at public opinion on air strikes against Islamic State (Isis). Two findings stand out. 3.25pm GMT Ken Livingstone told the Guardian that he spoke to Maria Eagle about his views on Trident two weeks ago but has not yet spoken to her about the defence review.I had a chat with Maria about nuclear weapons a couple of weeks ago - we passed in the street. I’m sure we can work together, I’ve known her for many years, we will get on.Labour’s NEC has to appoint people to each major policy review. The economy, environment and defence each have one person from the shadow cabinet and one from the NEC. I am sure she [Eagle] knew about this. 3.23pm GMT Here’s the Guardian audio of Ken Livingstone’s World at One apology. 2.58pm GMT Norman Lamb, the Lib Dem health spokesman and a campaigner on mental health, has condemned Ken Livingstone for what he said about Kevan Jones, saying comments like this “set back progress in tackling the stigmaa around mental health”[email protected] :Remarks like this (from Ken Livingstone) set back progress in tackling the stigma around mental health pic.twitter.com/Rb2LW6ERyS 2.26pm GMT And here are some more lines from Ken Livingstone’s World at One interview.I have been involved in debate about military intervention going back to Vietnam. I was responsible as leader of the GLC for civil defence in London. We knew what the consequences of a nuclear strike would be. I was responsible for trying to put in place the response to the suicide attacks that we had 10 years ago. I’m afraid that I do have a bit of a record in this area and he should have known about that. The object of this review is to look at where we are now and to look at the facts. It is not about your opinions, your beliefs, the moral debate about killing people; it’s the question is £20bn the best way to spend our military budget at a time when the real threat to us, as we have just seen from the attacks in Paris, is from terrorists on the street. And they are not deterred by nuclear weapons. And also the Argentines were not deterred by nuclear weapons from invading the Falklands.I’ve know her since she was 21, back in 1981, when she invited me to come and talk to her Labour students club, and she took me out for a nice meal. And in the ensuing 35 years we’ve always got on fine. I don’t think Maria Eagle is excited about having nuclear weapons and being able to kill people. She wants to be able to see a way through this problem, to make us a safe country; so do I. [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. 2.06pm GMT Kevan Jones is now saying Ken Livingstone should apologise to all the other people he has [email protected] and what about apologising to other thousands of people he insulted. 1.59pm GMT Ken Livingstone has now come out with a proper apology to Kevan Jones - following his half-hearted one earlier. (See 1.57pm.)1/2 I unreservedly apologise to Kevan Jones for my comments. They should not have been made at all, let alone in this context.2/2 I also make this apology because Jeremy is right to insist on a more civil politics and as a party we should take this seriously 1.57pm GMT Here is the Ken Livingstone apology in full.I had no idea that he had any mental health issues, otherwise I would never have said it. If he’s upset I’m sorry. But he can’t blame me. He was the one that came out and made this attack on me and questioned by competence to do this job. I just think it’s time Labour MPs stopped undermining Jeremy Corbyn’s decisions and his appointments. Our job is to get rid of this government and we should be united. For all my disagreements with Tony Blair, I called on people to vote for him. I never said he wasn’t fit to govern.Well, I grew up in south London. If someone was rude to you, you were rude to back to them. I did not got to Eton and get all that smarmy charming education, I’m afraid. So sorry about that. @AndrewSparrow quarter hearted.Boyfriend apology... https://t.co/yapsY1BrFP 1.40pm GMT Pat McFadden, the shadow Europe minister, has just told the World at One that Ken Livingstone should issue a proper apology for what he said about Kevan Jones. He said Livingstone’s apology a few minutes ago did not count as such. McFadden said:If you are going to apologise, do it properly, not in a half-hearted or dismissive way. 1.30pm GMT Livingstone says Jones was rude about him, because he said he did not know anything about defence.But in fact he does, he says. He says he has been interested in defence issues since he campaigned against the Vietnam war. 1.27pm GMT Martha Kearney is interviewing Ken Livingstone.Q: But, even if you did not know about Jones’s depression - and he has been very open about it - isn’t it right that you shouldn’t be using language like this? 1.25pm GMT Ken Livingstone has just apologised for what he said about Kevan Jones. He told the World at One that he had no idea that Jones had problems with depression.If he’s upset, I’m sorry. 1.13pm GMT Here is a Guardian video of the highlights from PMQs. 1.11pm GMT On the Daily Politics the Labour MP John Mann was asked after PMQs if he had confidence in Jeremy Corbyn as leader. Pointedly, he refused to say that he had. He said he had confidence in Hilary Benn, the shadow foreign secretary. 1.05pm GMT PMQs - Verdict: Jeremy Corbyn should not be too worried by that - because it could have been a lot worse.Corbyn started off with two neutral, consensual questions, and even when he did start asking hostile ones, they were only in the moderately difficult category. And this made it slightly tricky for David Cameron, who was clearly itching to attack. In his third answer, when Corbyn was still being relatively gentlemanly, Cameron unleashed a sly but rather pointed jibe about politicians not being able to “dodge forever” a decision about confronting Islamic State. He then delivered some routine attack lines about economic competence before, right at the end, coming out with the most effective line of the exchanges, the one about the police needing the power to “shoot to kill”.Hasn’t it come to something when the leader of the opposition thinks that the police, when confronted by a Kalashnikov-waving terrorist isn’t sure what the reaction should be? 12.36pm GMT Labour’s Yvonne Fovargue also asks about council cuts. Should she blame the council, or the government?Cameron says she should blame the last Labour government, which left the biggest deficit in the Western world. 12.34pm GMT Labour’s Jonathan Reynolds welcomes Cameron as “the new leader of the anti-austerity movement in Oxfordshire”. (That’s a reference to this.) How is his campaign going?Cameron says he wants all councils to become more efficient. If Reynolds’ council writes to him, it will get the same advice. 12.33pm GMT Sir Alan Haselhurst, a Conservative, says spending on sport should be protected because of the role in can play in community cohesion.Cameron says sporting bodies should do more themselves. They receive large sums of money from TV. 12.32pm GMT Labour’s Imran Hussain asks about the closure of an HMRC office in Bradford. It could have a catastrophic impact on the city, he says.Cameron says a Treasury minister will meet local MPs. The government will ensure support is there for people who lose their jobs. But unemployment in Bradford is down, he says. And everyone has an interest in HMRC becoming more effective. 12.30pm GMT Jack Lopresti, a Conservative, says he is alarmed by the arrest of a former paratrooper over Bloody Sunday. Many terrorists were released as part of the Good Friday Agreement, he says.Cameron says one of the best thing about this country is that the prosecuting authorities are independent. We should respect that, “even when they take decisions we might want to question”. 12.29pm GMT Labour’s Tulip Siddiq says morale amongst junior doctors is lower than at any time. Does Cameron agree this is a threat to patient safety? Cameron says junior doctors should think very, very carefully before voting to go on strike. Anyone working legal hours will not be worse off under the new contract. They should use the wage calculator on the NHS website to check. 12.27pm GMT Cameron says “very, very brave” people work in Hereford (the SAS). 12.27pm GMT Labour’s John Mann says his niece was caught up in the Paris attacks. She wants to know if emergency services will be able to cope in this country in the light of cuts. And why is the government not pushing for a UN resolution on Syria?Cameron says the government has been preparing for a Paris-style attack for years. It has ensured that the emergency services will be available. And the armed services will be able to “surge” onto the streets if necessary. 12.25pm GMT Craig Tracey, a Conservative, asks about incentives for innovators.Cameron says he wants to rebalance the British economy. Manufacturers want more investment into catapult centres. They want more apprenticeships. And they want the investment allowance to be permanent. The government will ensure that, he says. 12.21pm GMT PMQs - Snap verdict: It took a while for Cameron to deliver the decisive blow, but he got there right at the end, with his well-polished “Kalashnikov-wielding terrorist” line. It was a tad unfair (because we can presume that in these circumstances Corbyn does approve of the trigger being pulled), but the Labour leader has only himself to blame because of the hopeless woolliness of his response to a question on this in his BBC interview on Monday. That said, today went better for Corbyn than yesterday’s Commons statements and his questions were strong and serious. 12.15pm GMT Corbyn says he has a question from John. Demand on police has increased. One in three police officers is considering leaving the police. Will it be protected?Cameron repeats the point about the numbers of neighbour police officers going up. But the police also need the right powers. Doesn’t it come to something when, if the police are confronted by a Kalashnikov-wielding terrorist, the leader of the opposition does not know what their response should be. 12.13pm GMT Corbyn says policing plays a vital role in community cohesion. But if police numbers are cut by 5,000 this will be undermined. Does Cameron agree with Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Met commissioner, that these cuts will cause real problems?Cameron says money comes from taxpayers. He repeats the figures about neighbourhood police numbers going up, and crime going down. Andy Burnham says cuts of 10% are achievable. Does Corbyn agree? There seems to be disagreement on the Labour front bench today. 12.12pm GMT Corbyn asks where the extra funding for the security services will come when we get the spending review next week.Cameron says the security services will get an extra 1,900 personnel. And there will be extra aviation security. But this will be part of an overall settlement. You need a strong economy to have strong defence, he says. 12.10pm GMT Corbyn says we need to cut off Isil’s funding. Are our allies doing all they can to clamp down on individuals and institutions backing Isil. Will Cameron back the use of sanctions to stop this?Cameron says the government plays a leading role in imposing sanctions. But Isil developed because Syria was unstable. That is how it was able to obtain money and oil. So we cannot dodge forever the question how to address Isil. That is why he will be responding to the foreign affairs committee. 12.08pm GMT Corbyn says intolerance often increases after attacks like this. Does Cameron agree that politicians should be careful what they say? And does he agree this had nothing to do with the 2m Muslims in Britain.Cameron agrees. He says these butchers of Isil are nothing to do with Islam. But they spout bile that they claim comes from Islam. They are making a connection. We must prove they are wrong, he says. 12.07pm GMT Jeremy Corbyn asks about the support given to British nationals affected by the Paris attacks. And what is the government’s advice about travelling to Paris.Cameron thanks Corbyn for his remarks, and says it was a pleasure to be with him at the England v France match. Corbyn was right to say there could never be a justification for terrorism. He says the British ambassador in France has done a brilliant job. People should carry on with their lives, and continue to enjoy Paris, he says. “We will not be cowed.” 12.05pm GMT Andrew Rosindell, a Conservative, says the government should protect the government. Will he take complete control over borders, and complete sovereignty from the EU?Cameron says because Britain is not in Schengen, it has control over borders already. Some 6,500 EU nationals have been stopped from coming to the UK since 2010, and 95,000 people overall have been stopped since 2010. 12.03pm GMT Labour’s Gordon Marsden associates himself with what David Cameron has said about the Paris attacks. People from Blackpool, his constituency, were murdered in Tunisia, he says. He asks Cameron to reflect on police cuts, and the words ‘When facts change, I change my mind’.David Cameron says he can updated MPs on Paris. One British national was killed in the Bataclan theatre. Three British nationals have been returned to the UK and another 15 are being treated for trauma. 11.58am GMT PMQs starts in two minutes.No immediate sign of Maria Eagle or Kevan Jones with five minutes to #PMQs. Hard session for Corbyn beckons you'd imagine. 11.51am GMT Two more Labour MPs have criticised Ken Livingstone.From Toby Perkins, a shadow defence minister (like Kevan Jones)Luciana Berger absolutely right, seems only @georgegalloway still thinking Ken is in the right. https://t.co/nWvOJJXZyE“@elashton: Ken Livingstone says Labour MP who suffered from depression is "disturbed" https://t.co/SX13AUzJIL” Disgraceful. 11.49am GMT Lisa Nandy, the shadow energy secretary, has just told the Daily Politics that no one in politics should speak about people in the terms that Ken Livingstone was using about Kevan Jones. “I don’t think anybody should be making comments like that about anybody else in politics,” she said. Politicians had to set the right tone for national debate, she added. 11.47am GMT George Galloway, the former Labour MP who joined Respect, is defending Ken Livingstone.the witch-hunt turns on Ken Livingstone. Tooth by tooth claw by claw they are trying to defang JC. I defend Ken. pic.twitter.com/4xeTxC7gxc 11.45am GMT Chuka Umunna, the former shadow business secretary, has accused Ken Livingstone of spreading “prejudice”.Prejudice comes in many forms - very disappointed to see the man I campaigned for to be Mayor seemingly spreading it https://t.co/ksT9IQvZOF 11.43am GMT Luciana Berger, the shadow minister for mental health, says that, in stigmatising those people with depression, Livingstone’s comments are as serious “as racism or sexism”. He should apologise immediately, she says.My response to @ken4london's mental health related comments pic.twitter.com/YyRMzpaQm0 11.39am GMT Jeremy Corbyn has now put out a statement saying Ken Livingstone should apologise. He said:Jeremy is incredibly concerned that people with mental health problems shouldn’t be stigmatised. He has worked with Kevan in the past on this issue and is impressed by his bravery in speaking out on his own mental health issues. Ken should apologise to him straight away. 11.36am GMT Labour MPs are taking to Twitter to condemn Ken Livingstone. Here are three of them.From Tom BlenkinsopLivingstone blasts Labour rival with depression claiming he is 'disturbed' & should 'see his GP'...what a disgrace! https://t.co/n2V3MWCgXLHope Ken Livingstone big enough to apologise asap for offence caused over mental health slur. Unnecessary distraction in already tough timeRegardless of political differences between you, @ken4london, this is unacceptable. Please withdraw and say sorry https://t.co/qKYzcTSj9C 11.32am GMT And here is more from what Ken Livingstone told LBC.Ken Livingstone tells @mrjamesob : If someone is rude to me then they can expect me to be rude back. 11.30am GMT Ken Livingstone has just been on LBC, where he refused four times to apologise for what he said about Kevan Jones.Livingstone refuses to apologise FOUR times on LBC re Kevan Jones comments. "He was rude about me, I was rude back..he needs to get over it" 11.25am GMT Angus Robertson, the SNP’s leader at Westminster, has confirmed that the SNP will hold a debate on Trident next week.Confirmation that opposition day debates by @theSNP next week will be on Trident renewal and closure of HMRC offices #effectiveopposition 11.17am GMT But Ken Livingstone is not retracting what he said.Ken Livingstone tells me he was not aware that Kevan Jones suffered from depression - but refuses to retract his remarks. 11.14am GMT Ken Livingstone is now claiming that he did not know Kevan Jones had a history of depression when he said he needed psychiatric help.Just asked @ken4london if he was aware of @KevanJonesMP history of depression: "I've never heard of him b4" [he attacked me on defence rvw] 11.11am GMT Kevan Jones has also posted a tweet saying Ken Livingstone’s comments are “shocking”.Ken Livingstone says Labour MP with depression is 'disturbed' in shocking attack https://t.co/o24q59gPvV 11.03am GMT Ken Livingstone has hit back at Kevan Jones. (See 9.38am.) And it is not very pleasant. This is what Livingstone told the Daily 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. 10.38am GMT According to the BBC’s Carole Walker, Maria Eagle was not told about Ken Livingstone’s appointment until news of it emerged on Twitter.Maria Eagle was not told about Ken Livingstone's appointment to Trident review before it appeared on Twitter 10.36am GMT A source close to Maria Eagle, the shadow defence secretary, has said that she will still be leading the review despite Ken Livingstone’s appointment as co-chair of it. The source said:Maria and Ken are co-convening the review and Maria will still be leading it as was outlined by Jeremy at conference. Trident will be just one of many issues the review will look at; there isn’t a separate review. 10.33am GMT Here is more of what Ken Livingstone said about Trident in the Russia Today clip I posted earlier. (See 9.46am.)Most Labour MPs don’t actually believe that Trident is worth spending £20bn on. They just worry that it will be the Tory press demonising us as pro-Russian or weaklings and things like that. It’s not a serious, rational judgement; £20bn - that’s going to be about £1,000 in tax for every family in Britain. 10.23am GMT And here are two tweets from journalists on the Ken Livingstone appointment.From Patrick Wintour, the Guardian’s political editorCorbyn in his election said unity would be his watchword. Ok for unilateralist from NEC to co-convene def. review but is Livingstone unifierSenior Labour MP texts with news about Ken Livingstone co-chairing Labour defence review... "You couldn't make this shit up". 10.12am GMT Here is some more Twitter comment on the appointment of Ken Livingstone as co-chair of Labour’s defence review.From the Labour MP Wes StreetingIs this the same Ken Livingstone co-chairing Labour's defence review? https://t.co/LnmiOsITNVWorthy of an Armando Iannucci script. Maybe it is?BBC News - Ken Livingstone to co-chair Labour's Trident review https://t.co/rSrt1v2Cly. 9.46am GMT The Telegraph’s Asa Bennett has flagged up this footage of Ken Livingstone on Russia Today saying Maria Eagle (his co-chair of Labour’s defence review) is “mad” is she really believes Trident is worth spending money on.The relevant bit starts at 1.40 in this video.Interesting that Ken Livingstone to co-chair Trident review with Maria Eagle. Lab clearly grasped concept of mutual assured destruction. 9.38am GMT Kevan Jones, the Labour former veterans minister and now a shadow defence minister, has criticised the appointment of Ken Livingstone as co-chair of the party’s defence policy review. He told PoliticsHome:I’m not sure Ken knows anything about defence. It will only damage our credibility amongst those that do and who care about defence. 9.34am GMT Ken Livingstone was on Twitter last night criticising the call from the Labour MP Emma Reynolds for a free vote on extending military action against Islamic State to Syria. MPs should accept that there is settled party policy on this, he said.If pro-war MPs want to support a war they should accept that there is a whip and decide whether to break it. https://t.co/[email protected] @ken4london @EmmaReynoldsMP Will this apply to Trident, where policy is in favour but a number of MPs (JC incl) don't agree? 9.01am GMT Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, has already angered many of his MPs this week with his comments on security policy. Overnight two new developments have occurred that will propel the long-standing split over Trident into the headlines too.The former London mayor, a long-time opponent of the nuclear deterrent, is to co-convene the party’s policy commission on defence issues alongside shadow defence secretary Maria Eagle. The move is likely to cause fresh anger among Labour MPs, who have already savaged Mr Corbyn over his interventions in recent days ...Understand likely Commons vote on Trident on Tuesday by @theSNPAm hearing Labour MPs being told to abstain on @thesnp Trident vote Continue reading...

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