Liverpool

Luciana Berger MP abuse: Philip Hayes fined for anti-Semitic remarks

Philip Hayes
Image caption Hayes insisted he was not a racist

A Merseyside music promoter who admitted making anti-Semitic remarks to a Jewish MP has been fined £120.

Philip Hayes, 53, told Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger he "hated" Jewish people after the Liverpool Music Awards on 17 November, a court heard.

Hayes, of Mossley Hill, Liverpool, pleaded guilty to a racially-aggravated public order offence at Liverpool Magistrates' Court.

In a statement he apologised and insisted he was not a racist.

The pair were talking about the situation in Gaza when Hayes "made a number of remarks saying he did not like Jewish people - he was aware [Ms Berger] is Jewish," said Amanda Haydock, prosecuting.

'Quite drunk'

She said Hayes, who founded The Picket music venue in Liverpool, claimed "all Jewish people had money" and "referred to the prime minister of Israel as 'your prime minister', to which she said, 'David Cameron is my prime minister'.

After the ceremony at the Dome Grand Central, Hayes caught up with Ms Berger again and said he "hated" Jewish people.

Image caption Ms Berger was "upset" by Hayes's comments, the court heard

Ms Haydock said: "Ms Berger was upset and felt that the comment was directed at her as she was the only Jewish person in the group."

The next day Hayes sent a message on Facebook to Ms Berger apologising for his behaviour, the court heard.

A third party reported the matter to police and he was arrested.

Hayes's solicitor George White said: "He was quite drunk and he was talking out of character when he said those words.

"Immediately when he woke up the next day he showed genuine remorse and regret and apologised to her."

'Terrible act'

In a statement Hayes said: "I sincerely apologise for the hurt and offence my behaviour has caused Ms Berger.

"Prior to this offence, for over 30 years, I have always tried to fight racism in every form in my personal and professional life.

"This was a terrible act which I have accepted I committed, but I am not a racist or an anti-Semite."

Hayes was also ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge and £35 costs.

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