Before I do, it is useful to remember that when Ken was Mayor, he was renowned for his “wimmins’ projects”, patronising concessions that were the last sort of help that we needed, but they helped Ken fly the flag as a strong supporter of womens’ rights. He also insisted he was strong on gay rights, and attended the Gay Pride marches. As quoted in the New Statesman, Ken said: “I am committed to ensuring our city retains its reputation as a welcoming and safe place for lesbian and gay people to live in and visit”.
“Mr. Ahmadinejad’s policies are that women should return to their homes and that their priority should be the family” said Mahbube Abbasqolizade, a member of the Iranian Womens’ Centre NGO.
“The pretext (Holocaust) for the creation of the Zionist regime (Israel) is false … It is a lie based on an unprovable and mythical claim,” he told worshippers at Tehran University at the end of an annual anti-Israel “Qods (Jerusalem) Day” rally. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE58H17S20090918
September 2009 (Telegraph – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/7816442/Mahmoud-Ahmadinejad-in-quotes.html )
“They (the Western powers) launched the myth of the Holocaust. They lied, they put on a show and then they support the Jews.”
Speech at Columbia University September 2007:
“I am not saying that it [ the Holocaust] didn’t happen at all. This is not that judgment that I am passing here,” he said. “Granted this happened, what does it have to do with the Palestinian people? … Why is it that the Palestinian people are paying the price for an event they had nothing to do with?”
December – 2005
“They have created a myth in the name of the Holocaust and consider it above God, religion and the prophets.”
Israel came into existence ‘under the pretext of Jewish suffering’ – cannot find exact citation.
How can Ken possibly reconcile his much vaunted concern for womens’ rights and gay rights if he “takes the shilling” from a man such as Mahmood Ahnadinejad? His credibility is blown sky high. Ken is even shocking Iranians. A well known British comedian of Iranian descent, Shappi Korsandi (very popular on twitter, with over 29,000 followers, @shappikorsandi) quipped “We all have to earn a crust, but accepting money from the government of Iran? Nah! Surprised at Ken Livingstone.”
The feelings of Shirin Ebadi, the ex-Nobel Prize winner, and other exiled Iranians, were rather stronger They expressed absolute outrage that Ken should behave in this way. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/article2882429.ece