A pro-Palestinian protester seen waving a swastika on Saturday is a former Labour activist who once accused the party leadership of acting like the Third Reich, it can be revealed.
Kate Varnfield, 66, was pictured attending the rally in London this weekend with a placard showing the Star of David enmeshed with the Nazi swastika above the words: ‘No British politician should be a ‘friend of Israel’.’
Ms Varnfield’s 73-year-old husband, Terry, today insisted to the Mail that the signs had been ‘taken out of context’ and were an innocent reference to a 1970s UFO religion.
Kate Varnfield, 66, was pictured attending the rally in London this weekend with a placard showing the Star of David enmeshed with the Nazi swastika above the words: ‘No British politician should be a ‘friend of Israel”’
She was involved in the branch for about 18 months before leaving the area.
Ms Varnfield quit the party in November 2021 and posted a picture of a letter on social media which suggested she was on the brink of being expelled for supporting organisations such as Labour Against The Witchhunt.
Labour Against the Witchhunt was formed in late 2017 by conspiracy theorists convinced that the allegations of antisemitism which engulfed the Labour Party under Mr Corbyn’s leadership were a politically motivated plot to oust him.
In her bizarre letter, seen by the Mail, Ms Varnfield used the name of current leader Keir Starmer to make a pun about the Third Reich.
She said: ‘I was simply exercising my right of free speech…that this can be described as a prohibited act by the Labour Party under the Starmbannfuhrer is an atrocity and an affront to the history of the Labour Party.’
The Sturmbannfuhrer was a Nazi Party paramilitary rank used by the SS and other affiliated organisations.
Ms Varnfield is a trained therapist and also a regular user of the website Quora, where she has answered numerous questions posted by other users about Palestine, which variously accuse Israel of being an ‘apartheid regime’ and ‘committing genocide against the Palestinians’.
It is understood that Ms Varnfield’s name has been passed to the Metropolitan Police after the wrong woman was widely named on social media as the person pictured with the swastika sign.
The account which first shared the picture of the sign on social media, Harry’s Place, said at the time: ‘The swastika wrapped in a Star of David should be obviously antisemitic to anyone with any modicum of understanding.
‘The image is used a great deal by the hard left.’
The ugly scenes at the march – which was attended by an estimated 300,000 people – were also condemned by Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman, who was sacked as Home Secretary on Monday morning.
Labour sources in the South East have said that Ms Varnfield joined the Eastbourne Constituency Labour Party (CLP) around the time that Jeremy Corbyn became party leader
After being approached by the Mail, Terry Varnfield, who was pictured alongside his wife at the march, defended the sign and claimed it was not antisemitic.
He said: ‘The message on the placard read: No British Politician Should Be A ‘Friend of Israel’ which is a statement that is not anti-semitic or offensive.
‘The symbol used is the Raelism religion symbol, a combination of both the Star of David and the Swastika but meaning peace and love.’
Raelism is described as a UFO religion that was founded in the 1970s in France, teaching that an extraterrestrial species created humanity.
Its most fervent supporters have sought to build an embassy incorporating a landing pad for the eventual arrival of the alien spaceship.
Mr Varnfield continued: ‘This has been taken out of context and misrepresented.’
He did not respond when asked whether the police had made contact with him or his wife.