London school deletes oligarch benefactor from name

King Solomon High School drops Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor from its title


President of the European Jewish Congress (EJC) Moshe Kantor speaks during the Malmo International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism - Remember ReAct, in Malmo, Sweden, on October 13, 2021 - - Sweden OUT (Photo by Jonas EKSTROMER / TT News Agency / AFP) / Sweden OUT (Photo by JONAS EKSTROMER/TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images)

King Solomon High School in Redbridge has dropped the name of its benefactor, Viatcheslav Moshe Kantor, after the oligarch was sanctioned by the UK government earlier this month over his ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

In a statement this week, the school in north-east London said it would “no longer be known as Kantor King Solomon High School and the Kantor name is being removed from the school branding. This is being done in line with the guidance we have received.”

Uniforms, signs and stationery are being accordingly amended.

The school, which added the name “Kantor” in 2016 in honour of his sponsorship, acted after being contacted by the Kantor Foundation.

The Charity Commission last week announced an inquiry into the foundation and froze its bank account following the action taken by the UK government against Dr Kantor.

The inquiry would “determine whether the charity can continue to operate and is viable following sanctions being imposed on the founder”, the commission said.

Dr Kantor, who is chief executive of the Acron Group – one of the world’s largest producers and distributors of fertiliser – has stepped back from the presidency of the European Jewish Congress following the UK sanctions.

The EJC said it was “shocked and appalled” by the government’s decision, which it called “misguided”. Six years ago, Dr Kantor headed an EJC delegation to see Mr Putin, who reportedly suggested that Jews fleeing antisemitism could take refuge in Russia.

In its statement, King Solomon said: “The ethos and day-to-day running of the school remains unchanged, and the school continues to put students at the centre of everything we do to help them develop in line with our values of learning, community and charity, which underpin all our work.”

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