InterContinental Hotels Group refuses to “discriminate” against neo-Nazis after far-right conference goes ahead in Kensington
On Saturday, a conference for neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers convened in secret at the Holiday Inn Kensington Forum, however the location of the meeting was discovered by protesters who caused the meeting to end early.
The original speaker lineup included James Thring, the antisemitic conspiracy theorist, Elizabeth Hobson, Jason Reza Jorjani, Editor-in-Chief of Arktos, Shahin Nehzad, leader of Iranian Renaissance, Ian Millard, a neo-Nazi former barrister who was recently disbarred for his views, and Ole Dammegard, another conspiracy theorist.
As usual, in attendance were various neo-Nazi antisemites and much of the conversation centred on how “oppressed” the activities of Campaign Against Antisemitism make them feel.
However, the hotel which hosted them was unashamed. We contacted InterContinental Hotels Group, which operates the hotel, which told us that they do not “discriminate” against their neo-Nazi “guests”. In a statement, a spokesman told Campaign Against Antisemitism: “When taking bookings for group or individual business we do not discriminate on the basis of affiliation or personal preference. Bookings are permitted as long as the activities do not violate any laws or constitute a significant risk to guests or employees. On Saturday the hotel was open and operating as usual and hotel staff liaised with Police to ensure that disruption to guests was kept at a minimum.”
Sometimes neo-Nazi groups manage to make bookings under false names without venues realising that they were hosting antisemites, but in this case, InterContinental Hotels Group is unabashed.
We assumed that there must be some mistake and contacted Richard Solomons, CEO of InterContinental Hotels Group, drawing his attention to the outrageous statement we had been sent. We were contacted by Emma Corcoran, Vice President for Corporate Affairs for Europe who discussed the matter with our Chairman who she told that the company was neutral in such matters. When asked whether that meant that the company was for, against or indifferent towards neo-Nazis, she promised to consult senior executives. She then confirmed in an e-mail that InterContinental Hotels Group would not be changing its stance. She wrote: “As long as the activities associated with a proposed booking at a hotel are legal and do not pose a significant risk to guests or employees, we do not determine whether or not to accept a booking based on the political affiliation, religious beliefs, personal preferences or philosophies of the relevant third party.”
On the day of the event, upon discovering that Holiday Inn Kensington Forum was unwittingly hosting a neo-Nazi conference, after the police arrived, the Duty Manager should have told the attendees to leave. Instead, we now learn that were the neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers of the London Forum to book another conference room at an InterContinental Hotels Group venue, so long as they paid the fee, they would not be discriminated against.
You may wish to let Mr Solomons and Ms Corcoran know what you think of their policy at [email protected] and [email protected].