A teacher has explained his decision to appear at a controversial American conference that featured an activist who is banned from Britain.
Ronnie Fraser said he agreed to speak at the American Freedom Alliance (AFA) event following his experience in bringing an unsuccessful employment tribunal against the University and College Union.
He appeared at the Los Angeles conference despite the presence of Robert Spencer, who was last week banned from entering Britain by Home Secretary Theresa May. She said Mr Spencer’s presence in this country would “not be conducive to the public good”.
Jewish community leaders had attempted to discourage Mr Fraser from taking part in the event.
In a statement this week, Mr Fraser said he “would have perhaps taken a different view” on whether to attend the conference had he known the “level of controversy” surrounding Mr Spencer.
Mr Fraser appeared on two panels to discuss antisemitism in Europe and the continent’s cultural, political and social future. In April, Mr Fraser lost his case against his union after accusing it of harassment and antisemitism.
The AFA describes itself as “a non-political, non-partisan movement which promotes, defends and upholds Western values and ideals”. It promotes activism on what it says is the “Islamic penetration of Europe”.
Other speakers at the two-day conference in California included Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who was cleared two years ago of inciting hatred against Muslims following comments about Islam.
Mr Fraser said: “I went to this conference to talk about antisemitism in Britain and to reflect on my own personal experiences of it, and my recent tribunal case against the UCU.
“While I have heard of him, I did not attend Robert Spencer’s talk, nor do I in any way align myself with or advocate his particular doctrine.”
Mr Spencer is director of the Jihad Watch group and author of a number of books on Islam. He had been scheduled to appear at an English Defence League march in London last weekend before his ban.
He said his exclusion was “craven capitulation on the part of British authorities to fascism and Islamic supremacism.”
The AFA event was titled “Europe’s Last Stand” and focused on “debt, demography and the abandonment of national sovereignty”.