UK news

Ex-mayor forced to say sorry for 'blackshirts' outburst

By Marcus Dysch, March 8, 2012

A controversial councillor has been ordered to apologise to two residents whom he likened to fascists during arguments over a company with links to Israel.

In heated emails, Barnet councillor Brian Coleman dismissed their complaints as "anti-Israel nonsense" and told one: "I suppose 70 years ago you would have been in the blackshirts."

The residents had written to Cllr Coleman about waste ma

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Newspaper defends Hitler letter

By Marcus Dysch, March 8, 2012

The Swindon Advertiser has defended its decision to publish a reader's letter which praised Hitler.

The reader asked how Britain could come to terms with the government's austerity measures, before noting that Hitler had faced a similar economic situation when elected in Germany in 1933.

The letter concluded: "This, however, did not prevent him from embarking on a programme of extensive soci

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Swastikas anger MPs

By Marcus Dysch, March 8, 2012

The desecration of a war memorial involving Nazi graffiti has been condemned by MPs.

Vandals drew swastikas and comments praising the Nazis on the British Thomson Houston memorial in Rugby, Warwickshire.

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Olympic gala bows to greater royal power

By Jessica Elgot, March 8, 2012

Plans for a gala Olympic fund-raising concert for the Israeli team at the Royal Albert Hall, attended by President Shimon Peres, have ground to a halt as the event clashed with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Instead, the UK flagship event to fundraise for the Israeli athletes will take the form of a Purim celebration this weekend at KoKo in Camden - with around 1,300 people expected to attend the

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Jailed Tesler could serve his sentence in the UK

By Jessica Elgot, March 8, 2012

Relatives of British solicitor Jeffrey Tesler, who was sentenced to almost two years in a US prison for bribing Nigerian officials for £4bn construction contracts, will lobby the Ministry of Justice to bring him home to serve his sentence here.

A close relation, who did not wish to be named, said they were investigating options for the Hendon solicitor, who has dual British-Israeli citizenship

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No more Board action on Arkush

March 8, 2012

The Board of Deputies is unlikely to take further action against its senior vice-president Jonathan Arkush over his outspoken attack on the Jewish Leadership Council.

Mr Arkush issued a public letter of apology for the outburst, which had been strongly criticised by Board president Vivian Wineman and his fellow-officers.

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Baroness still raising questions

By Marcus Dysch, March 8, 2012

When Baroness Tonge resumed her normal business this week, asking a Foreign Office minister about alleged Israeli mistreatment of Palestinians, observers could have been forgiven for wondering whether her query on "forced expulsion" was raised with a tinge of self-interest.

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Police drop inquiry into Marine's 'hate speech'

March 8, 2012

Police have dropped an investigation into comments made by controversial former US Marine Ken O'Keefe at an Israel Apartheid Week event.

Officers studied video footage of Mr O'Keefe telling an audience that Israel "must be destroyed" and comparing Jews to Nazis, but concluded that no criminal offence had been committed.

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Reform backs gay marriage

By Simon Rocker, March 8, 2012

The Reform movement has branded as "inflammatory" an attack on same-sex marriage by one of Britain's leading Catholic clerics.

Cardinal Keith O'Brien, leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, described plans to legalise gay marriage as "madness" and a "grotesque subvesion".

But Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, movement rabbi for Reform Judaism, said that the cardinal's comments were "inflamma

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MP's daughter to have Jewish wedding in Westminster

By Jennifer Lipman, March 8, 2012

Conservative MP Lee Scott is preparing to make a speech in parliament next year – but he will be doing so in his capacity as father of the bride.

Mr Scott, who has represented Ilford North since 2005, has been granted permission by Speaker John Bercow to host his daughter's wedding at Westminster in summer 2013.

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