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Labour Distances Itself From Ken Livingstone After He Blames Blair For 7/7 Attack

“Ken Livingstone’s comments do not represent the views of the Labour party.”

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Labour HQ has distanced itself from Ken Livingstone after he said Tony Blair was to blame for the 7/7 London attacks – and that the suicide bombers "gave their lives".

The former London mayor, who is co-chairing a review into Labour's defence policy, claimed Blair had ignored warnings that invading Iraq would make Britain a terror target.

Four suicide bombers attacked London's underground and a bus on 7 July 2005, killing 52 people and seriously injuring dozens more.

Livingstone told BBC1's Question Time on Thursday night: "When Tony Blair was told by the security services, 'If you go into Iraq, we will be a target for terrorism,' and he ignored that advice, and it killed 52 Londoners."

He added: "They did those killings because of our invasion of Iraq. They gave their lives, they said what they believed, they took Londoners' lives in protest against our invasion of Iraq."

A Labour party spokesperson told BuzzFeed News on Friday: "Ken Livingstone's comments do not represent the views of the Labour party."

The fresh row comes a week after Livingstone, a close ally of party leader Jeremy Corbyn, was forced to apologise for saying an MP needed "psychiatric help".

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Ken Livingstone: 7/7 bombers "gave their lives..." #BBCQT

Labour MPs tweeted their fury with Livingstone over his 7/7 claims.

Ken Livingstone just blamed Tony Blair for London bombings. Total disgrace. The people responsible are the terrorists. I think it's shameful

The 7/7 bombers didn't give their lives; they took the lives of others. What is happening to my party? https://t.co/Ox0IWjo3XD

Despicable Livingstone has sunk to a new low. Terrorism never the fault of perpetrators. It's always Blairs fault. https://t.co/qcXmOLFdvK

Not politely taking this anymore.. No one has mandate to side with suicide bombers, praise "bomb and bullet" https://t.co/JR3qLoMqBP

Yes. Yes, he did. https://t.co/VN9le1rsRr

Labour confirmed on Friday that Livingstone remained co-convenor of the party's defence review, alongside shadow defence secretary Maria Eagle.

He was appointed to the key position by Corbyn last week – sparking protests from Labour MPs including frontbencher Kevan Jones, who has suffered from depression.

Livingstone criticised Jones, saying: "He's obviously very depressed and disturbed. He should pop off and see his GP before he makes these offensive comments." Hours later he apologised "unreservedly" after Corbyn ordered him to say sorry.

Livingstone also remains a member of Labour's ruling National Executive Committee.

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Emily Ashton is a senior political correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Emily Ashton at emily.ashton@buzzfeed.com.

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