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Theresa May's former aide accused of using antisemitic slur in Brexit article on George Soros

Nick Timothy, the Prime Minister's former chief of staff, co-authored a report claiming the Hungarian investor has backed an anti-Brexit group

    Nick Timothy
    Nick Timothy (Photo: Getty Images)

    Theresa May’s former chief of staff has been accused of dredging up an antisemitic conspiracy theory after contributing to an article which claims Jewish financier George Soros supports a “secret plot” to thwart Brexit.

    Nick Timothy, who was dismissed by the Prime Minister after the 2017 general election, co-authored a front-page report in the Daily Telegraph on Thursday detailing how the billionaire Hungarian investor has backed Best for Britain, an anti-Brexit campaign.

    The article has claimed the group, which has prepared to launch a nationwide advertising campaign this month, will aim to force a second referendum on Brexit.

    The use of the phrase “secret plot” to describe the activities funded by Mr Soros has sparked claims of antisemitism, with critics accusing the authors of using a traditional trope of shadowy Jewish political influence.

    It also dubbed the 87-year-old “the man who broke the Bank of England”, a reference to the role Mr Soros’ Quantum Fund played in the Black Wednesday run on the pound in 1992.

    In recent years Mr Soros has been targeted by negative advertising campaigns by nationalist parties in Eastern Europe, many of which have been described as antisemitic.

    The Daily Telegraph claims George Soros has backed a 'secret plot' to thwart Brexit (Photo: Getty Images)
    The Daily Telegraph claims George Soros has backed a 'secret plot' to thwart Brexit (Photo: Getty Images)

    Journalist Hugo Rifkind tweeted: “Weird maneuvers afoot on Tory Twitter. Surely, rather than doubling down, it's better for them to take a step back and simply ponder whether "Soros" + "secret plot" + Hungarian conspiracy theories + Russian propaganda is really the look they want to be aiming for.”

    Bonnie Greer, the playwright and commentator, wrote: “If anyone "broke the Bank Of England" it was Norman Lamont, now a Peer of The Realm. #GeorgeSoros bet that would happen, and he won. #NickTimothy & the wretched @Telegraph are peddling textbook Anti-Semitic tropes. I know you're losing.... but are #Brexiters THIS desperate?”

    Rob Ford, a University of Manchester politics academic, criticised the Daily Telegraph for “weaponising the far right’s favourite conspiracy theory”.

    Mr Timothy rebutted allegations of antisemitism, saying they are “as absurd as they are offensive”.

    He tweeted: “Throughout my career I’ve campaigned against antisemitism, helped secure more funding for security at synagogues and Jewish schools, fought to lift the cap on faith schools, and supported Israel.”

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