Board cancels sold-out event on rise of far-right

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Board cancels sold-out event on rise of far-right

Community leader 'sad to announce' the meeting in parliament won't go ahead due to restrictions on visitor access

Jack Mendel is the Online Editor at the Jewish News.

The Board of Deputies has cancelled a fully-booked event in Parliament on the rise of the far-right.

The meeting was due to be held on Tuesday to address the “urgent priority” of far-right extremism, featuring MPs, anti-racism campaigners and communal leaders.

Taking to Twitter, the Board said: “We are sad to announce the cancellation of tomorrow’s fully-booked event about the rise of the far-right, following restrictions on visitor access to the @UKParliament  due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Vice-President of the Board of Deputies, Amanda Bowman, said: “While governments, rightly, focus on grappling with the coronavirus outbreak, it remains vital that we don’t lose sight of other threats to our communities.

“Much like a virus, the rise of the far-right – whether through terrorist groups, political parties or social media agitators – threatens our lives and causes widespread anxiety in our  communities.

“The Board of Deputies remains wholly committed to stamping it out, along with all other forms of hateful extremism that plague our society.

David Lammy MP was set to attend, with other confirmed guests including Elliot Cohen of the Community Security Trust, Jemma Levene, of the anti-racism charity HOPE not Hate, and Dr Omar Khan, from the Runnymede Trust.

This comes after a string of extremist attacks in Germany, including a shooting on two shisha bars in Hanau, Germany, an another attacke in Halle on Yom Kippur, with the attacker attempting to enter a synagogue.

In 2018, the US suffered what is believed to be its worst antisemitic attack in living memory, with the Tree of Life synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh, that claimed the lives of 11 people.

In the UK, the threat posed by right-wing extremism is growing rapidly, the Metropolitan Police warned last year.

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