Home Event venue Royal Institution cancels event with French far-right expert Eric Zemmour | Royal institution

Royal Institution cancels event with French far-right expert Eric Zemmour | Royal institution

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The prestigious Royal Institution in London has canceled an event in which far-right French television expert Eric Zemmour was scheduled to speak on Friday.

Zemmour, who has been convicted of inciting racial hatred, is due to arrive in London on Thursday as he reflects on a possible candidacy for the French presidential elections next year.

He was to speak in the grandiose setting of RI’s headquarters in Albemarle Street, near Piccadilly, at an event called “Eric Zemmour in London”. The place seems to have been deliberately chosen for its grandeur and its association with the RI, which was founded in the 18th century to promote science and research and of which Prince Charles is one of its patrons.

But in a move that appeared to be aimed at avoiding embarrassment and association with Zemmour’s far-right views, RI canceled the reservation just two days ahead of schedule.

RI stressed that he did not invite Zemmour to speak and only canceled the reservation after researching his background.

In a statement, he said: “RI has made the decision to cancel a private room rental reservation for an event featuring media commentator and politician Eric Zemmour.”

He added: “The reservation was received on short notice and was one of many that RI receives each week. Following a due diligence process, RI has made the decision to cancel the venue rental event and as a result, Mr. Zemmour will not be speaking to RI.

The reception rooms of the RI had been reserved by an organization representing Zemmour. A spokesperson for RI said the association was renting the venue to help fund its promotion of science and research.

Zemmour’s team said the last-minute cancellation was relayed by email and was a blow to the 300 expatriate French voters who registered for the event.

“We just got a message, with no explanation,” a source told French media. “This is incomprehensible in terms of commercial law… and a major mistake. Unless they knowingly want to sabotage the moment. We had paid the entire bill, agreed the technical details with their teams in an exchange that lasted until last night.

The source said the RI Рwhich hosted Fran̤ois Fillon, the later disgraced right-wing presidential candidate, in 2016 Рwas booked two weeks ago and Zemmour was now considering legal action.

“The Royal Institution decided 48 hours before Eric Zemmour’s conference to cancel the reservation for which we signed a contract two weeks ago. We paid the entire bill… over 300 people were already registered. This decision is incomprehensible. It is a serious fault, ”they added.

“It is above all the method that is scandalous. Unless they want to completely sabotage the moment. It is obviously not up to a private conference space to decide whether Éric Zemmour has the right to address people or not… as for the Royal Institution, we entrust our British lawyer with the care of prosecuting them.

The move comes amid questions in France about how Zemmour was allowed to travel to the UK given his convictions for inciting racial hatred. There are also questions in the UK about who he should meet with.

Zemmour is the subject of legal proceedings for “complicity in inciting racial hatred and racial insults”. In a debate on CNews in France last year, he called unaccompanied asylum-seeking children “thieves, rapists and murderers.” A new trial, accusing him of inciting racial hatred, on these remarks opened Wednesday in Paris.