KEN Livingstone has “unreservedly” apologised for suggesting that a shadow defence minister who questioned his ability to advise on defence matters needed “psychiatric help”.
Kevan Jones – who has spoken openly about suffering with depression – said the comments were “gravely offensive”.
Although urged by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to apologise, he initially refused to but has now tweeted that the comments should not have been made saying, “I unreservedly apologise to Kevan Jones for my comments. They should not have been made at all, let alone in this context I also make this apology because Jeremy [Corbyn] is right to insist on a more civil politics and as a party we should take this seriously”.
Mr Corbyn’s decision to appoint the former London mayor as joint chair of Labour’s defence review has not been well received from pro-Trident Labour MPs, with shadow defence secretary Maria Eagle reported to be “furious” as she was not apparently consulted prior to the appointment especially as they both have opposing views on nuclear weapons.
The comments made by Mr Jones that offended the former Mayor of London were “I’m not sure Ken knows anything about defence. It will only damage our credibility amongst those that do and who care about defence.”
Ms Eagle, who is the first woman to hold the post of shadow defence secretary is reported as feeling rather aggrieved that she has now had a man appointed to ‘keep an eye on her’.