09:37AM, Friday 29 June 2018
An event which gave a platform to several far-right Polish speakers was held at the Slough Polish Association’s club in November, it has been confirmed.
The BBC reported this week that the event, advertised on Facebook as Targi książki w Londynie (Book Fair in London), included a number of speakers who have gained notoriety for their Islamophobic and anti-semitic comments.
The event’s host was Marcin Rola, has made a number of inflammatory comments about Muslims on videos online, describing Muslims as ‘savages’ and calling paedophilia ‘daily bread’ in Islam.
Another guest at the event in the Stoke Poges club was Rafał Ziemkiewicz, has made controversial comments about the Holocaust.
The event was organised by far-right nationalist group Polska Niepodległa (Independent Poland).
In February this year MP for Slough Tan Dhesi and MP for Ealing Central and Acton Rupa Huq expressed concerns that Mr Ziemkiewicz was due to speak at Slough Polish Association.
At the time, the club said there was never any booking and that Mr Ziemkiewicz had ‘nothing to do’ with the association.
Commenting on November’s function this week, an association spokesman said the event was booked by the organisers as a book fair but was not carried out as suggested.
“It won’t happen again,” he added.
The Polish Embassy said £1,019 was initially provided for the event from the Polish diaspora fund of the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs after undergoing ‘an appropriate assessment.’
It added: “The event received backing in good faith as a Polish community project, which was supposed to support reading in the Polish language and promote Polish history among the Polish diaspora.
“It was organised by conservative, right-wing circles – not, like the BBC programme suggests, extremist groups.
“The Embassy is unable, however, to monitor or answer for all statements made by the guests invited by the organisers from the Polish diaspora.”
However, the embassy says that after receiving information that far-right Polish priest Jacek Międlar was planning to take part in the event, it immediately withdrew its patronage and with it, the financial support.
However, by the time the patronage was withdrawn — two days before the event — promotional material including posters with the Embassy’s logo had already been printed.
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