London mayor defiant over Nazi remark

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Mayor Ken Livingstone refused to apologize for comparing a Jewish reporter to a Nazi camp guard, and now he's facing four weeks off the job - suspended for bringing his office into disrepute.

The famously combative mayor said Friday's ruling by a disciplinary panel struck a blow against democracy, but many wondered why he couldn't just say sorry.

"Had the mayor simply recognized the upset his comments had caused, this sorry episode could have been avoided," said the Board of Deputies of British Jews, which brought the case before the Adjudication Panel for England.

The Adjudication Panel ordered the two-term mayor suspended from his job for four weeks beginning March 1. Livingstone said he was considering an appeal, and blasted the ruling.

"This decision strikes at the heart of democracy," he said in a statement. "Elected politicians should only be able to be removed by the voters or for breaking the law."

David Laverick, chairman of the disciplinary panel, said Livingstone had failed to appreciate "that his conduct was unacceptable ... and did damage to the reputation of his office."

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