LondonNet News Headlines
18/11/04
Livingstone Faces al-Qaradawi Probe
- Assembly to investigate mayor's links with cleric

KEN LIVINGSTONE is to face an investigation by the London Assembly over his links with prominent Muslim cleric Dr al-Qaradawi.

Dr al-Qaradawi caused controversy earlier this year when he shared a speaking platform with Livingstone, London's Mayor. More recently, Livingstone has refused to meet a coalition of community leaders opposed to al-Qaradawi's visit and now some members of the Assembly plan to investigate the mayor efforts to meet community responsibility targets.

"Either the mayor has not been straight with us or he has been unbelievably naive," said Bob Neill, the Tory leader for the London Assembly. "Large numbers of the London public have been deeply offended as a result."

For the Green Party, Darren Johnson said: "The invitation to al-Qaradawi was a total mistake. Ken said his officers checked him out but I don't think they looked very hard."

Dr al-Qaradawi is reported to have controversial views on gay and women's rights and Israel, but Livingstone is prepared to defend his right to hold meetings with those whose views he does not share.

"I do not speak for Dr al-Qaradawi," said Livingstone. "We would strongly disagree on a number of issues [but that] will not stop me from continuing a dialogue or sharing a platform on issues upon which we agree."




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