Boris Johnson has condemned acts of “shameful racism” as police investigated video appearing to show anti-Semitic language being shouted from a convoy of cars in London.
Police in London say they are trying to identify those seen in the video, who were in cars flying Palestinian flags.
Mr Boris Johnson tweeted that there was “no place for anti-Semitism in our society” and he stood with the Jewish community.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the incident was “utterly disgusting”, adding: “There must be consequences”.
It comes amid rising tension between Israel and Palestinians in the Middle East, culminating in the worst violence since 2014.
On Sunday a footage on social media showed a convoy of cars covered with Palestinian flags passing down Finchley Road, in north London, with passengers heard to shout offensive language and threats against Jews.
The Metropolitan Police said they were aware of the incident in the St John’s Wood area and were carrying out urgent enquiries to identify those responsible.
We are aware of a video appearing to show anti-Semitic language being shouted from a convoy of cars in the St John’s Wood area this afternoon. Officers are carrying out urgent enquiries to identify those responsible. This sort of behaviour will not be tolerated.
— Metropolitan Police Events (@MetPoliceEvents) May 16, 2021
“This sort of behaviour will not be tolerated,” the force said.
The footage, along with other incidents that have emerged following large pro-Palestine rallies over the weekend, has received cross-party criticism.
There is no place for anti-Semitism in our society,” Mr Johnson tweeted. “Ahead of Shavuot, I stand with Britain’s Jews who should not have to endure the type of shameful racism we have seen today.
There is no place for antisemitism in our society. Ahead of Shavuot, I stand with Britain’s Jews who should not have to endure the type of shameful racism we have seen today.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) May 16, 2021
Shavuot is a Jewish festival beginning on Sunday that celebrates when the children of Israel received the Ten Commandments.
Sir Keir said: “Utterly disgusting. Anti-Semitism, misogyny and hate have no place on our streets or in our society. There must be consequences.”
Utterly disgusting. Antisemitism, misogyny and hate have no place on our streets or in our society. There must be consequences. https://t.co/a1asCAF9Ep
— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) May 16, 2021
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the police had his “full backing” for their zero-tolerance approach.
“Reports of hateful, intimidating and racist language used on marches and social media this weekend are deeply concerning,” said the mayor.
“Behaviour that incites anti-Jewish or anti-Muslim hatred has no place in our city.”
On Saturday, thousands of people protested through London in support of the Palestinians.
The organisers of the protest called on the UK government to step in and “stop allowing Israel’s brutal violence against and oppression of the Palestinian people to go unpunished”.
Referring to the video of the convoy, housing and communities secretary Robert Jenrick said: “This, on the streets of London, is deeply disturbing.
“Vile, criminal hatred like this must not be tolerated.”
In a statement Mr Jenrick continued: “Whatever your view of the conflict in Israel and Gaza, there is no justification for inciting anti-Jewish or anti-Muslim hatred.
“The incidents of anti-Semitism we have seen in recent days have been shameful.
“Some of the language used on marches this weekend and in posts on social media is intimidating, criminal and racist.
“We must not tolerate this vile, shameful hate in our country. These actions must stop.”
UK cabinet minister Michael Gove described another video appearing to show protesters shouting anti-Semitic abuse as “deeply concerning”