April 28, 2016 11:53 AM EDT

Britain’s Labour Party has suspended former London Mayor Ken Livingstone over anti-semitic remarks he made Thursday that prompted swift backlash from the public and members of Parliament.

Livingstone will be investigated for “bringing the party into disrepute,” after he tried to defend Labour MP Naz Shah, who had been suspended for comments she wrote about Israel online, the BBC reports.

“Let’s remember, when Hitler won his election in 1932 his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel,” Livingstone said during a BBC Radio interview. “He was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.”

Labour MP John Mann publicly confronted Livingstone about his remarks, and himself received a reprimand from the party for airing his grievances so publicly.

Afterward Livingstone said he hadn’t meant that Hitler was a Zionist, and had just been citing “facts,” the BBC reports. The Adjudication Panel for England suspended Livingstone from his mayoral office in 2006 for comments he made comparing a Jewish reporter to a concentration camp guard. A judge later overturned the decision.

Along with Mann, many MPs spoke out against Livingstone on social media Thursday:


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Write to Julia Zorthian at julia.zorthian@time.com.

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