Ken Livingstone backs Richard Rogers at MIPIM after architect was accused of semi-semitism.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone has stepped in to defend architect Richard Rogers after he was accused of anti-semitism. Rogers recently walked into a media storm over his alleged support for an anti-Israeli group, Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine, which threatened to derail his $1.7bn revamp of the Javits Convention Centre in New York.

Livingstone, who was himself recently censored for comments made to a Jewish reporter from the Evening Standard, brushed aside the charges.

Speaking at MIPIM, he said: "They are absolutely ridiculous charges. The term anti-semitism is flung around so casually that it demeans the concept.

It's exactly what happened to me. Now, when a real anti-semite comes along we won't recognise them. Anyway, Richard Rogers is Jewish so it's all a bit bizarre. A bit over the top.

Livingstone said: "If you criticise the Israeli givernment, it doesn't mean you are criticising all Jews. In the same way, I have been criticising British governments all my life - it doesn't make me any less British. It just so happens that I don't like governments."

  • Read Chris Hill's account of his charity cycle ride from Paris to MIPIM in his blog below.