Incumbent Johnson edges Livingstone in London mayoral race


(JTA) — Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who stirred controversy with remarks called anti-Semitic by the city’s Jewish leaders, lost his bid to reclaim his post.

Incumbent Boris Johnson, Livingstone’s successor, won the tight mayoral race in London, according to results announced late last Friday.

Johnson, of the conservative Tory Party, garnered 51.5 percent of the vote compared to 48.5 percent for Livingstone of the Labor Party.

Upon conceding the race, Livingstone reportedly said that this would be his last election.

London Jewish leaders said Livingstone in a March meeting made remarks that they called nearly "classic anti-Semitism." Livingstone said that the Jewish community would not vote for him because "the Jewish community is rich." The Jewish leaders also said that Livingstone had used the words Zionist, Jewish and Israeli interchangeably and "in a pejorative manner."

Livingstone apologized for the statements and called on the Jewish community to "move on from the ‘Ken and the Jews dramas.’ "

The meeting was held to discuss Livingstone’s support of radical Muslim cleric Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi and his accepting money from Iranian state broadcaster Press TV. Livingstone has been a frequent critic of Israel.

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