A frequent contestant on the BBC show Bargain Hunt was denounced for offering Nazi memorabilia at his auction house, the Daily Mail reported.
Tim Weeks, a well known figure since 2016 on the British game show where two teams compete to find and sell the best bargains, was reportedly at a loss to explain why the Nazi items, including a 2,000 pound ($2,749 USD) Third Reich banner, a 300 pound ($412 USD) swastika, and a collected of Nazi badges were to be auctioned at his Wessex Auction Rooms on Friday.
Weeks took down the auction of the Nazi memorabilia after being questioned by the Daily Mail.
“Upon learning that a number of Third Reich items are listed for auction I have contacted the head of our militaria department to withdraw them immediately from sale as we would never wish to cause any offence,” Weeks told the Daily Mail. He went on to apologize.
The sale was described by the Board of Deputies of British Jews as “distressing, disturbing and hugely disrespectful.”
While it is illegal to sell Nazi items in some countries in Europe, including Germany, it is not illegal to do so in the UK.
The controversy comes during a period of an increase in far right incidents involving swastikas in the UK.
In mid-August, a salon in Essex was discovered by its owner vandalized and covered with dozens of swastikas and a list of racist rules, including a “giant swastika” carved into a wall.
Earlier in the month, a man was caught on video defacing a Manchester road with swastikas.
At the beginning of August, swastika graffiti was found in Durham near a bandstand close to the Durham Racecourse.
That incident followed a suspended sentence given to a man who pled guilty to defacing a Welsh war memorial in February with swastikas and Nazi slogans.
Several days later, a large swastika was drawn on a railway bridge in Harrogate, a town in North Yorkshire. The bridge is considered a local landmark.
A report released by the Community Security Trust, the organization tasked with providing security to the UK Jewish community, found that during the first half of 2021 British Jews experienced record levels of anti-Semitism.