Staff at private company suspended in Israel birth certificate row

Members of staff at a private company which works with the Home Office have been suspended after a baby’s birth certificate was returned to her parents “with the word Israel scribbled out”.

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 Campaign Against Antisemitism said.

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

The Home Office launched an urgent review of the claims on Tuesday.

James Cleverly confirmed the suspensions in a post on X, formerly Twitter, on Wednesday but it is not clear how many staff have been suspended.

He wrote: “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.”

The Campaign Against Antisemitism previously posted on X saying: “Two weeks ago, a member of the public sent off a passport application to @ukhomeoffice for his six-month-old baby girl.

“Today, the birth certificate was returned ripped with the word ‘Israel’ scribbled out. The parents are understandably very concerned about this incident.

“We are asking the Home Office to investigate how this happened. The Home Office has responsibility for law enforcement and the security of the Jewish community.

“Confidence in the authorities is at painfully low levels and must be restored.”

A spokesperson for the charity added: “This is completely unacceptable. 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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