A British Conservative member of parliament, Patrick Mercer, resigned last week, just ahead of a damning report on his behavior, which included saying that an Israeli female soldier "looks like a bloody Jew.”
The report by the Commons standards committee concluded that Mercer had committed one of the worst ever breaches of parliamentary lobbying rules, after finding he used his position for paid advocacy, claimed a fellow MP was a "crook of the first order" and made the offensive remarks about the female IDF soldier.
The Guardian reported that Mercer stepped down as an MP Tuesday and triggered a byelection in his Newark seat, just ahead of the report that would have recommended his suspension from parliament for six months.
Mercer was caught in a sting by journalist Daniel Foggo, leading to reports by BBC Panorama and the Daily Telegraph. This prompted a standards investigation into allegations that he signed a deal with an undercover reporter who posed as a lobbyist for Fiji, as part of the joint work by Telegraph and Panorama.
Mercer also made the comments about the a female IDF soldier to the Telegraph/Panorama undercover reporter.
Describing an encounter with a soldier while trying to enter an “intelligence establishment” during a recent visit to the Jewish state, he was recorded as saying, “An 18-year-old girl wearing a uniform, but with her sort of hair in plaits, and crazy jeweler and open-toed sandals, with a rifle up my nose. Who the f*** are you, you know? ‘Well I’m a soldier.’ Are you? You don’t look like a soldier to me. You look like a bloody Jew. And I’ve no doubt that if I’d come up with the wrong answer, I’d have had my head blown off.”
Mercer, who served as shadow homeland security minister under Michael Howard and Iain Duncan Smith, has told the Jewish News, “I’d like to apologies unreservedly for any offense I’ve caused to all my friends in the Jewish community.”
Mercer said he had felt “extremely sorry” on watching himself recounting the encounter on the program, according to the Jewish News.
Mercer, who resigned the Conservative whip in the wake of the lobbying allegations, has previously attended events organized by both the Community Security Trust and Conservative Friends of Israel. He was also said by one Westminster source to have “always expressed an interest and admiration at Israel’s prowess” on matters of security.