Minister shares platform with far-right leaders

By Leon Symons, December 17, 2009

A government minister has spoken at the same controversial Palestinian-organised conference which invited an extremist Hungarian far-right leader.

Mike Foster, Minister of State at the Department for International Development, was invited by the Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) to a conference in London on Wednesday to mark the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

The PRC had invited Kristina Morvai, the leader of the Jobbik party, Hungary’s equivalent of the BNP. But her appearance was exposed by the website Nothing British About The BNP and the invitation was withdrawn.

One man who did speak, however, was Dr Daud Abdullah, deputy director of the Muslim Council of Britain. Dr Abdullah signed the Istanbul Declaration last year that advocated attacks on Royal Navy vessels if they attempted to halt arms smuggling into Gaza and called for continued military action against Israel.

Mr Foster, MP for Worcester, said: “I was there to deliver a tribute to UNRWA. I don’t know this man’s name or whether he was there then.”

Among the other guests were former Labour minister Claire Short, Lib Dem Baroness Jenny Tonge and Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn.

Last updated: 4:47pm, December 17 2009