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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Jordan King

Home Secretary apologises after baby's birth certificate returned with 'Israel' scribbled out

The Home Secretary has apologised to a family over a baby’s birth certificate being returned defaced, while revealing staff a private company which works with the Home Office have been suspended.

James Cleverly previously ordered an investigation into the document being returned to the family “with the word Israel scribbled out”, according to the Campaign Against Antisemitism.

The charity posted a photo of the birth certificate online, which they said left the girl’s parents “very concerned”.

On Wednesday, Mr Cleverly said his department’s commercial partner had suspended some staff members.

He wrote on X, formally Twitter: “We apologise to the family for the offence caused and I have ordered an urgent review of a birth certificate being defaced.

“While we establish the facts, our commercial partner has suspended some staff. The matter is totally unacceptable. We will not tolerate antisemitism.”

Earlier this week, a Jewish father from north London spoke of his outrage when he and his wife opened the envelope only to discover baby Ronnie’s papers had been tampered with.

The 32-year-old told MailOnline: “Mr wife found it was ripped half way through and my place of birth - which was Israel - had been scribbled out with a pen.

“We felt as if we had been taken back to 1930’s Germany where the Nazis would put notes on Jewish people’s documentation.

“It is completely warped and it hurts my heart that my daughter is not even six-months-old and she has already been discriminated on in the worst way.

He went on: “Unfortunately this birth certificate is not valid any more because it’s been scribbled on. So this person has destroyed my child’s identity, their birth certificate, just because it’s a Jewish person.

“We are terrified because if this is the environment within the Home Office this is not a place we want to live. We are just as British as everyone else.

“Afterwards we need to make sure this person, man or woman, cannot put their hands on other people’s private documents.”

The Campaign Against Antisemitism said the 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.

The organisation said the incident was “completely unacceptable”.

A spokesperson for the charity added: “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.”

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