Britain ‘must apologise to Jewish people’ for Tonge event

Britain ‘must apologise to Jewish people’ for Tonge event

MP says UK should say sorry to Israel and the Jewish people following 'outrageous' comments at Parliament event in which Israel was compared to Islamic State and Jews blamed for the Holocaust

Baroness Tonge
Baroness Tonge

Britain should apologise to Israel and the Jewish people following “outrageous” comments at an event hosted in Parliament, according to an MP.

Tory David Davies (Monmouth) said a peer headed the event at which a speaker compared Israel to terror group Islamic State and “the Jews were even blamed for their own genocide”.

Cabinet minister David Lidington told MPs he was “genuinely horrified” by newspaper reports of the remarks.

Former Liberal Democrat MP Baroness Tonge, who sits as an independent in the Lords, chaired the meeting.

The Palestinian Return Centre, which live streamed the event on its Facebook page, said the event inside Parliament was part of its Balfour apology campaign – which calls for the UK Government to “officially apologise for its past colonial crimes in Palestine”.

Baroness Tonge
Baroness Tonge

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Davies asked Mr Lidington: “May we have a debate on the use to which these premises may be put following reports that outrageously a member of the House of Lords presided over an event at which Israel was compared to Islamic State, and the Jews were even blamed for their own genocide?

“Could we discuss this and also whether we should be issuing an apology for these outrageous comments to the Israeli government and the Jewish people.”

Commons Leader Mr Lidington replied: “I read the newspaper reports of the event in question and I confess I was genuinely horrified by the speech that was reported there.

“I don’t want to treat every newspaper article as gospel but I think we should all be very concerned about what happened there.

“And I hope that since this appears to be an event organised by a leading member of the Liberal Democrat party, that the leader of the party does launch an immediate and thorough investigation so we can get to the truth and any appropriate disciplinary action can be taken.”

Lady Tonge lists her party as “independent Liberal Democrat”.

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