Conservative Friends of Israel chairman Sir Eric Pickles has expressed his “shock” at comments from Labour councillors in Leicester comparing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler.

In a letter to Leicester’s mayor Sir Peter Soulsby, sent on Tuesday, Pickles describes how other councillors have in the past said Britain sponsors “Jewish colonial immigration” and compared Israel to Apartheid South Africa.

“It was with real shock that I came across a number of statements by your Labour councillors which are a real concern,” he said. “I am sure many in the Jewish community would find these comments unacceptable.”

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