Theresa May has said efforts to wipe out anti-Semitism in the UK must be redoubled, amid safety fears among the Jewish community.
The Home Secretary said she never thought she would see the day when Jews living in Britain would say they were fearful of remaining in the country.
Speaking at an event to commemorate the Jews who died during the terror attacks in France, Mrs May said: “The dreadful events in Paris are a reminder of the serious terrorist threat that we face. The attack on a Jewish supermarket, where four people were killed, is a chilling reminder of anti-Semitism, not just in France but the recent anti-Semitic prejudice that we, sadly, have seen in this country.
“I know that many Jewish people in this country are feeling vulnerable and fearful and you’re saying that you’re anxious for your families, for your children and yourselves.
“I never thought I would see the day when members of the Jewish community in the United Kingdom would say they were fearful of remaining here. And that means we must all redouble our efforts to wipe out anti-Semitism.”
Mrs May said Britain would not be Britain without its Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and people of other faiths.
She told the event in London: “In Europe, of course, we have seen large numbers of Jewish people emigrate and others are questioning their future.
“There have been other attacks as well, the like of which we never thought we’d see again in Europe.
“In Brussels, of course, where four people were shot and killed at a Jewish museum and in Toulouse, where three children and a teacher were murdered at a Jewish school.
“So I want to say this: Jewish people have long been an important and integral part of this country.
“We cherish the contribution you make, not just in the past but today and every day.
“Following those attacks in Paris we saw a tremendous expression of unity as people came together in solidarity with the victims of France, people in countries all over the world repeating ‘Je suis Charlie’, ‘Je suis Ahmed’, ‘Je suis Juif’.
“But the most important quote I heard, I think, was from French prime minister Manuel Valls, who said: ‘If 100,000 Jews leave, France will no longer be French, the French Republic will be judged a failure.’
“It is a sentiment I well understand, one that holds true for Britain.
“Without its Jews, Britain would not be Britain, just as without its Muslims, Britain would not be Britain. Without its Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and people of other faiths, Britain would not be Britain.”