Baby’s birth certificate returned from Home Office ‘with Israel scribbled out’

Girl’s parents are ‘very concerned’ as Home Secretary vows ‘appropriate action will be taken’

Tara Cobham
Tuesday 20 February 2024 10:47 GMT
'Tornado of antisemitism' working through UK, government advisor warns

The Home Office is launching an investigation over a baby’s birth certificate that was returned to her parents “with the word Israel scribbled out”.

The girl’s parents are “very concerned” after the birth certificate was sent off as part of a passport application two weeks ago and returned on Monday with the father’s place of birth defaced, Campaign Against Antisemitism said.

In a reply to a photo of the birth certificate that the charity had posted online, home secretary James Cleverly stated he had asked for it to be investigated “urgently”, vowing he would “see that appropriate action is taken”.

The Home Office is to launch an investigation over a baby’s birth certificate being returned to her parents ‘with the word Israel scribbled out’ ( Campaign Against Antisemitism)

The environment secretary Steve Barclay described the reports as “absolutely shocking”, telling Sky News: “I just heard about it this morning.

“It’s absolutely shocking and appalling, and we absolutely need to get to the bottom of what’s happened. I know the home secretary is absolutely focused on taking action to address this.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying: “Two weeks ago, a member of the public sent off a passport application to @ukhomeoffice for his six-month-old baby girl.

“Today, the birth certificate was returned ripped with the word ‘Israel’ scribbled out. The parents are understandably very concerned about this incident.

“We are asking the Home Office to investigate how this happened. The Home Office has responsibility for law enforcement and the security of the Jewish community.

“Confidence in the authorities is at painfully low levels and must be restored.”

Mr Cleverly responded in a comment under the post, saying: “I have asked my officials to investigate this urgently and will see that appropriate action is taken.”

Security minister Tom Tugendhat posted on X confirming the Home Office is investigating.

It comes as a report published last week by the Community Security Trust (CST) found antisemitic incidents in the UK reached an all-time high last year, with the majority being recorded after Hamas’ attack on Israel on 7 October.

The charity, which monitors antisemitism and provides security for the Jewish community in Britain, said there were a total of 4,103 antisemitic incidents in the UK in 2023, up from the previous annual record of 2,261 incidents which had been reported two years previously.

Its chief executive, Mark Gardner, described the “explosion in hatred” against the Jewish community as “an absolute disgrace”.

In a reply to a photo of the birth certificate that the charity had posted online, the Home Secretary stated he had asked for it to be investigated ‘urgently’ (PA)

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “This is completely unacceptable. When sending off a passport application to the Home Office, the last thing one should ever expect is to have their child’s birthday certificate returned, torn, with the parent’s place of birth scribbled out, just because it is the Jewish state.

“We are assisting the parents, who are understandably very concerned about this incident. We are also asking the Home Office to investigate how this happened.

“The Home Office has responsibility for law enforcement and the security of the Jewish community and the wider public. Confidence in the authorities among British Jews is at painfully low levels and must be restored.”

The Independent has approached the Home Office for further comment.

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