The Minister for Europe has refused to back critics of marches in Latvia and Lithuania that honour Nazi collaborators. Tory MP David Lidington said in a letter that condemnation of the marches, which honour the Waffen SS and the Lithuanian Activist Front, was "a matter for the respective governments".
However, the stand put Britain at odds with the Council of Europe, the body responsible for the European Declaration of Human Rights, which has condemned the marches and says they should be banned.
Mr Lidington wrote in response to Defending History, a campaign group and website that aims to preserve the history of the Holocaust.
The website's editor, Dovid Katz, who is a former professor of Yiddish in Lithuania, said: "When it comes to Nazism, it is the minimum moral requirement of western nations to condemn any effort to sanitise and glorify the Nazis and their allies. We didn't join the EU to say 'It's none of my business'."
A spokesperson for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "The UK is second to no one in its condemnation of Nazism in all its forms."