British MP apologizes for ‘bloody Jew’ comment

Patrick Mercer, who was filmed referring to IDF soldier as "bloody Jew," says he'll write apology to UK Chief Rabbi Sacks.

June 12, 2013 22:13
1 minute read.
British Conservative MP Patrick Mercer

British MP Patrick Mercer 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

LONDON – The member of Parliament who was secretly filmed referring to an Israeli soldier as a “bloody Jew” has apologized, saying he would be writing to British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks to express his remorse.

Patrick Mercer, a former shadow minister and MP for Newark, in Nottinghamshire, made the remarks to an undercover reporter who had filmed the MP allegedly accepting payment to lobby for a cause.

During the filming, which was screened on the BBC’s flagship Panorama program last week, Mercer shared a story about a recent visit to Israel in which he visited an intelligence establishment.

Mercer, who resigned from the Conservative party following the lobbying allegations, described how he was questioned on entering the establishment by a female soldier who asked him who he was.

He told the reporter that he answered: “Who the **** are you?” On being told she was a soldier, Mercer said: “You don’t look like a soldier to me. You look like a bloody Jew.”

Mercer’s comments were widely condemned.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews said his comments “displayed a prejudice which is totally out of place for anyone to make in this country, let alone a member of Parliament.”

Nathalie Tamam, deputy director of Conservative Friends of Israel, said: “Patrick Mercer, who has had a long and notable career of public service, will know that he was completely out of order. His alleged comments were misguided, prejudiced and deeply offensive to both women and Jewish people.”

Originally Mercer said he had been misheard, but the former shadow homeland security minister issued an “unreserved apology” on Tuesday evening.

“I’d like to apologize unreservedly for any offense I’ve caused to all my friends in the Jewish community,” he told the Jewish News weekly newspaper.

The MP, who now sits as an independent in Parliament, said he had a “terrific connection with the Jewish community” over the years and told the newspaper that he had been contacted by Jewish friends “who have been extremely supportive” following the exposé.

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