Jewish community leaders said it was “utterly wrong” for UKIP to invite English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson to parliament this week.
The Board of Deputies took to Twitter to criticise the pro-Brexit party after photos emerged of the right-wing figure dining in Westminster, a day after his contempt of court case was sent to the Attorney General.
Taking to Twitter, the Board said: “UKIP should be ashamed. Bringing an anti-Muslim propagandist into the heart of Britain’s democracy is utterly wrong.”
The House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, who is Jewish, was asked to take up the matter with his counterpart in the upper chamber by the SNP’s Stewart McDonald, during Prime Minister’s Questions.
McDonald described Robinson as a “violent, racist thug and fraudster” who he said should not be “invited to walk amongst us on the parliamentary estate”.
UKIP should be ashamed. Bringing an anti-Muslim propagandist into the heart of Britain’s democracy is utterly wrong. https://t.co/kRYjQ0lf1Y
— Board of Deputies of British Jews (@BoardofDeputies) October 24, 2018
Bercow replied that he shared “his assessment of the individual concerned: a loathsome, obnoxious, repellent individual and I make no bones about my view being the same as his on that front.
“Secondly, however, and this is the procedurally significant point, the question of who might be invited to dine in the other place is outside of my remit.”
He added: “My advice to him is that if he wishes to pursue the matter he should in the first instance, both as a matter of courtesy and of practicality, write to the Lord Speaker to register his views.”
The Sun newspaper reported that Robinson enjoyed a three-course lunch with Ukip peer Lord Pearson in the Lords on Tuesday.
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