Ipswich MP Ben Gummer takes steps to prevent speech from Holocaust denier in town
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich MP Ben Gummer has taken action to stop a controversial Holocaust denier giving a speech in town.
David Irving, whose revisionist theories of Nazi Germany have seen him branded a “racist” and “anti-Semite” by a British judge, is scheduled to visit Ipswich this evening as part of a nationwide tour. Venues on the tour are only disclosed to ticket-holders after they pass Mr Irving’s checking procedures.
Mr Gummer managed to establish where Mr Irving intends to visit and claims its owner was “horrified” to learn the truth.
“David Irving has been found by British courts to be a Holocaust denier, racist and anti-Semite,” he said.
“For many years he had pedaled untruths and smears, which do more to sow division and hatred than advance historical understanding.
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“While freedom of speech is a precious thing, people should also be made aware of the nature of Mr Irving’s views and prejudices.
“That is why I approached the venue where David Irving is due to speak to explain to them. As expected the venue had no idea who Mr Irving was and were horrified to know when I told them. I am sure it will do what it can to prevent this meeting.
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“The opinions that Mr Irving expressed are ones with which everyone that I know in Ipswich would be repulsed by. I cannot think anyone in this town would welcome his presence in our decent and tolerant community.”
Mr Gummer later confirmed the venue had cancelled the event.
Mr Irving claims his critics have not “bothered to read my books or hear my views”.
“They prefer to listen to lies,” he said.
His views have seen him jailed in Austria as well as banned from several countries.
During an unsuccessful libel action, a British judge said Mr Irving had “persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence” and “portrayed Hitler in an unwarrantably favourable light”.
Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality said it was “saddened” to learn of the visit.