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London mayor wins High Court appeal over offensive comment

[JURIST] Britain's High Court [official website] on Thursday overturned a lower court ruling that London Mayor Ken Livingstone [official profile] brought his office into disrepute by making controversial comments to a Jewish journalist. The court ruled [text] that Livingstone's comments did not breach the Greater London Authority [official website] Code of Conduct. The court said Livingstone brought disrepute on himself but not the mayor's office. Finding Livingstone's behavior "unnecessarily offensive," the panel suggested that he apologize to the reporter, Oliver Finegold. In a related ruling last week, the High Court quashed Livingstone's four-week suspension [JURIST report] imposed by the Adjudication Panel for England [official website].

The incident occurred when Livingstone, leaving a private party, responded to Finegold's questions by telling him he was "like a concentration camp guard - you are just doing it because you are paid to." Livingstone later defended his comments [JURIST report] by saying he was not talking about the reporter but his employer, the Evening Standard, a tabloid paper that supported the Nazis in early 1930s. The Guardian has more.

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