Sajid Javid, the new Home Secretary, was in synagogue on Shabbat, speaking at Lauderdale Road, the flagship congregation for the S&P Sephardi Community.
The former Communities Secretary - who was appointed today to succeed Amber Rudd following the row over Home Office targets to deport illegal migrants - addressed the congregation following the Torah and haftarah readings.
He spoke from the pulpit at the shul in Maida Vale - an honour permitted among the mainstream Sephardi community but not generally in Ashkenazi synagogues.
Mr Javid is regarded as a firm friend of the Jewish community, who dismissed boycotts of Israel at a meeting of World Jewish Congress leaders ahead of the celebration of the Balfour centenary last autumn.
“The media campaign is full of sound and fury, but to the majority of Britain today it signifies nothing,” he said then.
Earlier this year, he announced a grant to increase Holocaust education among university students.
Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holcocaust Educational Trust, said: “Sajid Javid is a true champion of our cause. We cannot thank him enough for all he has done to support Holocaust remembrance – including his strong leadership in the development of the National Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre to be built next to Parliament, as well as his recent commitment to fight antisemitism on university campuses. Sajid Javid is held with huge affection by Holocaust survivors and the wider community – we wish him all the best in his new role and thank him for all he has done.”
Two weeks ago, in the parliamentary debate on antisemitism, he criticised Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, saying the Labour party had witnessed “a deeply worrying lack of leadership and moral clarity on this issue from him”.