Members of Manchester’s Jewish community held a secret meeting with Tommy Robinson, the former leader of the far-right English Defence League.
The controversial meeting, which took place in Prestwich last week, was billed as a charity fundraiser, but also saw Mr Robinson deliver a speech outlining his extreme views on Islam…
Jeremy Newmark, Jewish Labour Movement chairman, confirmed local activists from his organisation had been left “outraged” after learning of the event.
Mr Newmark told the JC: “No ifs, no buts, Tommy Robinson is an enemy of our community. He is part of the same political tradition as the National Front and the BNP.”
Mr Robinson has long attempted to court British Jews and has travelled to Israel, proclaiming himself to be a “Zionist”.
In a statement, the Board of Deputies condemned last week’s meeting saying: “Tommy Robinson’s record of anti-Muslim provocation means that he could never be a partner of a respectable or mainstream Jewish organisation.”
…A spokesman for the left-wing Jewish Voice group said: “Tommy Robinson has been attempting to co-opt the Jewish community, trying to play on antisemitism among the Muslim community to cause tension between the two communities.”
Mr Robinson confirmed on Twitter that the meeting took place.
“This was from the talk I gave to Manchester Jewish community. Thank you guys for the donations,” he wrote.
In a further post today, Mr Robinson added: “People actually think I’m a Jew. I’ve gone full 360 over last 8 yrs. From people thinking I hate Jews to people thinking I am a Jew.”