A defiant Ken Livingstone insisted he had nothing to apologise for as he arrived at a misconduct panel facing fresh criticism from campaigners over his controversial comments about Adolf Hitler.

The former London mayor repeated his claim that there was “collaboration” between the Nazi leader and the Zionist movement before the Second World War and denounced the hearing as “unfair”.

Around one third of voters believe he should be expelled from the party, according to polling, and the Holocaust Educational Trust said Mr Livingstone had persisted in causing offence.

The Labour veteran was suspended in April last year after claiming that Hitler supported Zionism in the 1930s before he ”went mad and ended up killing six million Jews”.

A hearing run by Labour’s national constitutional committee that could last up to two days will decide if he should be kicked out.

But Mr Livingstone said the process was “completely unfair” and criticised the decision to hold it in private.

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