Former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie attacked the Leveson inquiry but spoke warmly of Israel at an Emunah dinner at London’s Guildhall on Tuesday which raised £220,000.
Mr MacKenzie feared the Leveson findings would lead to a media model of “glossy PRs, employed by the police and other authorities, who only want you to have the good news. How can the press be judged by expense-swindling crooks in Parliament?
“State employees have become a protected species. They run taxpayer-funded organisations — children, old people and nursing homes — that are full of scandals and get away without public scrutiny.” Recalling his visit to Tel Aviv in spring, he said he had lost his credit card and was hugely relieved when it was discovered cut to pieces beneath a tree.
This had made him feel “very warm” about Tel Aviv because had he lost the card in Camden, the likelihood was that it would have been used illegally.
Dinner co-chair Michelle Hirschfield told the 300 guests that their presence demonstrated solidarity with Israel. Her sentiments were echoed by IDF spokesperson Joshua Hantman via video-link. “We have a number of security challenges that won’t be going away any day soon,” he said.
British Emunah chair Camille Compton said afterwards: “We have had to provide additional services for traumatised children whose suffering has increased as a direct result of the recent rocket attacks in Israel.
To have raised over £200,000 in this tough economic climate is fantastic.” The dinner also featured a performance by Emunah’s Young Musician of the Year, 12-year-old cellist Anoushka Sharp.