Mr Livingstone, 76, quit the Labour Party after being suspended over comments that he made about Hitler supporting Zionism.
The former mayor has an exceptionally poor record on antisemitism and relations with the Jewish community, which predated his terms as mayor and has endured since. Among many other entries, that record includes welcoming, during his first term as mayor, a radical, antisemitic cleric to City Hall, and during his second term comparing a Jewish journalist to a Nazi concentration camp guard, a comment that got him briefly suspended as mayor before the suspension was overturned.
More recently, Mr Livingstone contended that Adolf Hitler “was supporting Zionism”, an assertion that prompted 107 MPs to sign a statement describing his words as “insidious racism” and eventually led to his resignation from the Labour Party.
Indeed, Mr Livingstone is infamous in the Jewish community for inspiring the so-called ‘Livingstone Formulation’, by which Jews who cite evidence of antisemitism are accused of lying, conspiring or having deceitful motives in doing so.
Mr Livingstone recently said: “I genuinely think we’re heading toward extinction before the end of the century because no government anywhere is doing enough to tackle the impact of climate change. At Cop26 they all said the right things but…you’ve got to get people to completely change the way we live and no government around the world seems to have the courage to do that.”
He claimed that he made contact with the Green Party in the past about joining, but that “they never got back to me.” He suspected that they “thought that if they brought me in they’d be accused of being antisemitic.”
It is understood that membership applications from high-profile political defectors are reviewed by a Green Party regional council for consultation.
Asked about the apparent rejection of Mr Livingstone’s membership bid, a spokesperson for the Green Party said: “The Green Party does not comment on individual applications for membership. We reserve the right to exclude people from membership where necessary, in line with the party’s principles and values.”
Separately, it has been reported that the Greens have dropped their inflammatory former Deputy Leader, Shahrar Ali, as the Party’s Spokesperson for Policing and Domestic Safety, apparently for “for breaches of the Speakers’ Code of Conduct”. Dr Ali, who remains a member of the Party, has longed faced criticism from Party activists over his alleged views on trans rights, and there is speculation that this may be the reason for his ouster. It is notable that he has also faced criticism over his stances on antisemitism and yet this has apparently played no role in the pressure that he has faced.
Campaign Against Antisemitism has extensively documented alleged antisemitism among officers of the Green Party of England and Wales, including the Party’s former Equalities and Diversity Coordinator who now holds the International Coordinator portfolio, on which the Green Party has failed to act.
Our Antisemitism Barometer survey of British Jews in 2020 found that the Greens were second only to Labour in how many respondents felt that the Party was too tolerant of antisemitism (43%), while our Antisemitism Barometer 2019 showed that antisemitism on the far left of British politics has surpassed that of the far right.
Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life. To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.