Cameron Offered Support to Muslim Brotherhood Officials Last Year
British Prime Minister David Cameron hosted a senior Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson last year at the historic country retreat of Chequers in Buckinghamshire, which serves as the prime minister's weekend base.
The story came from David Hearst of the Middle East Eye website, which boasts numerous Middle-East journalists and authors as contributors. Hearst, who was a foreign leader writer for the Guardian writes that Cameron invited the Muslim Brotherhood’s international spokesman to lunch at Chequers, for a two-hour seminar. A source in the room reported that the Brotherhood, which was still in power in Egypt at the time, used the occasion to present its vision. The prime minister "then asked what Britain could do to support it".
A Downing Street spokesperson confirmed to Breitbart London: "We can confirm that Gehad el-Haddad attended a seminar at Chequers last year which sought to bring together a diverse spectrum of views on the Muslim Brotherhood. It's important to remember that the Brotherhood were in power in Egypt at the time and, like Governments across the region and world, we were engaging with them in order to understand them better and to try to positively influence their actions in office. This is an organisation that has rapidly risen in prominence in recent years and our understanding of its philosophy, values and impact needs to keep pace with this."
Gehad El-Haddad, who was the Brotherhood's international spokesman, and is now under arrest in Egypt, was the "star attraction" according to Hearst. The meeting, which was held on May 17th last year, came weeks before the now deposed Mohammed Morsi was set to visit Britain.
Middle East Eye quotes a source who was present, who said that "Cameron talked of crony capitalism under Hosni Mubarak, and the potential of free markets under Morsi. Cameron questioned El-Haddad on the Brotherhood’s vision and asked what Britain could do to support it."
"The lunch at Chequers was the start of a series of meetings which Downing Street officials and ministers held with senior members of the Brotherhood. On June 5 Gehad's father Dr Essam El Hadad had a meeting with John Casson in 10 Downing Street, accompanied by Dr Wael Haddara, senior advisor to the then Egyptian president. This was in preparation for a visit by Morsi in July. Dr El-Haddad also met William Hague and Alastair Burt at the Foreign Office."
The news comes just weeks after David Cameron ordered a full UK investigation into the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain. Following a Saudi Arabian ban on the group, the Prime Minister ordered British authorities to crack down on the group's activities. Conflicting reports suggested initially that the Muslim Brotherhood had fled its London HQ as a result, though the group now denies it.