Jewish representatives have chastised controversial Daily Mail columnist Katie Hopkins for meeting “Holocaust deniers” and other far-right activists while researching links between charities and people smugglers.

Hopkins, who caused offence earlier this year by calling for a “final solution” after the Manchester concert attack, raised hackles by posing with Peter Sweden, who has called into question the Holocaust in the past.

“It is distressing to see Katie Hopkins posing for a photograph with a Holocaust denier, as part of her trip to support the ‘Defend Europe’ campaign,” wrote Board of Deputies’ vice-president Marie van der Zyl on Twitter.

“Ms Hopkins should apologise and think twice about giving her backing to a far-right campaign whose supporter base seems to be made up of anti-Muslim propagandists and neo-Nazis.”

Less than a year ago, Sweden tweeted that “the globalists (mainly Jews) are the ones bringing in the Muslims to Europe, they seem to work together” and “it is the Vatican and the Jews who are behind the NOW [New World Order]”.

However, Sweden also took to Twitter this week, saying: “I have had opinions in the past that I strongly regret… Of course I believe that the Holocaust happened and that it is a horrific crime.”