Robert Jenrick given protection by counter-terror cops after Westminster Holocaust Memorial death threats

London
- Cabinet Minister Robert Jenrick has been given protection from counter terrorism police after receiving death threats and antisemitic hate mail over his involvement in the handling of the proposed Westminster Holocaust Memorial.

The JC has learned that among a series of vicious attacks directed at the Housing and Communities Secretary were threats to burn down his home, and to kill his family.

On Monday a High Court judge ruled Mr Jenrick had acted entirely properly over the application for a Holocaust Memorial in Westminster following a legal challenge by the London Historic Parks and Gardens Trust.

Following the judgement the MP for Newark made clear his anger towards those who he said had made “baseless and disgraceful” allegations against him over his actions with regards to the planning application for the project.

On Monday evening Mr Jenrick told the JC “The behaviour of some of the opponents to the memorial has been shocking and disgraceful.

“The fact that I have been subjected to these smears, and my family to antisemitic abuse and death threats only shows the paramount importance of the memorial”.

Mr Jenrick also praised the intervention of Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer – who last week added his support for the £100 million project ahead of Tuesday’s public inquiry into the planning application.

He added: “I am pleased that the Leader of the Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer has joined the Prime Minister, all living former Prime Ministers and leaders of all the major faiths in strongly supporting the memorial.

“I hope we can all unite behind it now.”

During a two day High Court hearing , held remotely, London Historic Parks had attempted argue that there was a conflict of interest in the government’s handling of the planning application for the proposed memorial in Victoria Tower Gardens, the Grade II-listed park next to the Houses of Parliament.

But lawyers for Mr Jenrick and the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) argued during a two day hearing last month that the Secretary of State had performed his duties in making decisions over the project “in an objective manner and avoiding a conflict of interest.”

On Monday after Mr Justice Holgate’s ruling was disclosed he tweeted: “I’m pleased that the High Court has confirmed that MHCLG acted entirely properly in its handling of the proposal for a National Holocaust Memorial in Westminster.

“The allegations made against MHCLG, myself and the project team by those who seek to stop the memorial were baseless and disgraceful.

“That I was subject to antisemitic smears for supporting it only confirms its paramount importance.

“There will now be an independent planning inquiry at which the arguments for and against will be heard. As the applicant for the project, I will continue to make the case strongly. This critical project is a national symbol of our determination to #neverforget.”

The JC understands that the Communities Secretary, whose wife Michal is Israeli-born, has also been left angered by personal attacks on his conduct by Baroness Ruth Deech - who has repeatedly expressed her opposition to the building of the Memorial.

Baroness Deech this week claimed “Jewish tragedy is being used for a political project.”

The Westminster Memorial has received cross-party backing from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, as well as from ex PM’s Gordon Brown, John Major and Tony Blair.

Former PM David Cameron had originally backed a national UK Memorial in 2015, with former PM Theresa May supporting the location in Westminster.

The application was called in by Esther Mcvey, the then Housing Minister, last November after Mr Jenrick recused himself because he had publically backed the memorial.

In June, Mr Jenrick told the House of Commons claims he had breached guidance on planning was “serious and disappointing.”

He added: “The Secretary of State is the applicant for the Holocaust memorial, and there is a clear Chinese wall whereby another minister in the department who has no interest in that application takes the ultimate decision.

“That is exactly what we did in that case, so I strongly urge members from all parties, as well as the media who have reported on that issue, to tread carefully.”

The final decision over the application will be taken by Christopher Pincher, Housing Minister at the MHCLG after this week’s public inquiry.

Source: The JC