Commons Speaker Hoyle calls for ‘unity’ at Westminster HMD event

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Commons Speaker Hoyle calls for ‘unity’ at Westminster HMD event

Sir Lindsay Hoyle told MPs and peers :“The Holocaust threatened the very fabric of civilisation - and genocide must be still resisted every day."

Speaker addresses MPs and Peers at HMD ceremony in Westminster
Speaker addresses MPs and Peers at HMD ceremony in Westminster

House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has hosted a ceremony at Westminster to mark Holocaust Memorial Day at which he called for “unity against racism and hatred.”

During a 45-minute-long ceremony in Portcullis House, MPs, Peers and journalists gathered to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, and of the subsequent genocides that have followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, and Darfur.

Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg shadow minister David Lammy Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers and Laura Marks, chair of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, were among those who took part in the ceremony.

Labour Dame Margaret Hodge had been invited to light one of the candles at the commemoration, but she was unable to attend after testing positive for Covid-19.

In his opening address Sir Lindsay warned: “The Holocaust threatened the very fabric of civilisation, and genocide must be still resisted every day.”

He said we should never be complacent in the fight against antisemitism and other forms of racism and hatred.

The Speaker, who has been a staunch ally of the Jewish community, said: “Here in the UK, as elsewhere, prejudice and the language of hatred must be challenged by us all.”

Amongst those to also attend the event were the MPs Robert Jenrick, Bob Blackman, Andrew Percy, Lord Ian Austin and Holocaust Educational Trust chief executive Karen Pollock.

Closing the ceremony, he said: “I hope it has given us all pause for thought to consider how we might call out, counter messages of hate, intolerance, and instead work together to create a better, safer, and a happier future.”

He later told Jewish News the event “means a lot to me.”

Sir Lindsay added:”I want to bring the House together – and none more so that on Holocaust Memorial Day.

“It is about bringing people together. This was so moving today.. .we saw unity against hatred, unity against racism. Quite rightly we have to show respect and tolerance to all ”

Sir Linsday warned that “antisemitism and hatred against someone who is Muslim – that cannot be accepted, we live in a modern world.

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