Ken Livingstone, former mayor of London and member of Britain’s Labour Party, excused the terrorists who were part of the 2005 London terrorist attacks and instead blamed then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Appearing on BBC Thursday, Livingstone, who was mayor of London at the time of the attacks, said of the suicide bombers, “Go and look what they put on their website. 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.”
He added, “and we were lied to by Tony Blair about Iraq, there were no weapons of mass destruction.”
Other BBC panelists took issue with Livingstone’s remarks. Comedian and former Labour political adviser Matt Forde said, “This idea that you can absolve the people that killed those innocent Londoners by blaming Tony Blair is shameful.
“Blame it on the people who carried out the atrocity.”
Conservative cabinet office minister Matt Hancock stated that Livingstone allowed the Islamic State “off the hook” for terrorist acts, while Kate Andrews, of the Adam Smith Institute, told Livingstone he was “accepting their excuses.” Other Labour MPs criticized Livingtone’s remarks on Twitter.
Fifty-two people were killed on July 7, 2005 during the terror attacks in London. Four suicide bombers detonated their explosives—three on the city’s subway system and one on a double-decker bus.