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Two charged over Freer office arson but attack not being treated as a hate crime

Paul Harwood and Zara Kasory have been charged with arson with intent

Finchley & Golders Green MP Mike Freer
Finchley & Golders Green MP Mike Freer

A man and a woman have been charged in connection with a fire at the office Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer on Christmas Eve. 

Paul Harwood, 42, and Zara Kasory, 32, were arrested yesterday and have been charged with arson with intent. 

They were due to appear at Willesden Magistrates’ Court this morning.  

Police were called to the MP’s office by London Fire Brigade shortly after 7pm on 24th December, after firefighters put out the fire in a shed at the rear of the building in Ballards Lane. 

In an interview with The Jewish Chronicle following the attack, Freer talked about the threats and abuse he has received for his pro-Israel views. He said: “I think obviously because I have such strong views on the Middle East, and I’m pro-Israel, this has led me to become a target”

He added: ““We’ve had a fairly significant security upgrade of both my home and my office, and I’ve been in contact with the Parliament security team.”

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police responded to fears that the attack may be a hate crime saying: “Police are aware of widespread reporting and concern in the community and can confirm the incident involving Mr Freer’s office is not being treated as a hate crime. Mr Freer has been informed.”

Anyone with information that could assist police is asked to call 101 or ‘X’ @MetCC and quote CAD4971/24Dec. You can also provide information anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


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