A WOMAN who called a city centre Covid vaccination hub "the new Auschwitz" has been accused of "spreading hate and lies".

Banned nurse Kate Shemirani compared the new Churchill Square clinic in Brighton to the concentration camp during a protest Monday afternoon.

The vaccination centre was forced to temporarily close during the demonstration, which saw a smoke bomb let off inside the shopping centre.

Outside, Ms Shemirani, who was struck off the nursing register after describing the pandemic as a "scam", spoke into a microphone.

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Pointing towards the new Churchill Square vaccination centre, which is now offering jabs to 16 and 17-year-olds, she said: "This is the new Auschwitz."

The comparison to Auschwitz, the largest of the German Nazi concentration camps and extermination centers, has been criticised by the Sussex Jewish Representative Council.

A spokeswoman said: "We are shocked and disgusted that this conspiracy theorist is once again on the streets of our city spreading her hate and lies.

"Her grotesque Holocaust analogies that dare to compare an NHS vaccination centre to Auschwitz - the scene of the systematic murder of 1.1 million people, most of whom were Jews - are obscene.

"That she uses the Holocaust - the darkest time in history - to scaremonger is not only offensive but also dangerous.

"Brighton still has an above-average infection rate with a below average vaccination take-up.

The Argus:

"While she is entitled to her freedom of speech, she should not be allowed to prevent people in our city from being vaccinated .

"Anyone that wilfully does that should be prosecuted with the full force of the law."

Demonstrators started to gather from about 9.35am and by midday, about 80 people were gathered on private land outside the shop unit formerly occupied by Topshop.

READ MORE: Student prevented from getting Covid jab by protestors at Churchill Square

Sussex Police said officers and PCSOs attended to engage with protesters and facilitate a peaceful demonstration while minimising disruption for members of the public.

However, an investigation has been launched after a device believed to be a smoke bomb was set off at around 1.35pm.

The NHS took the decision to temporarily close the vaccination centre shortly afterwards. It has now reopened.

The Argus:

Responding on Twitter, Heidi Bachram said: "Members of my husband’s family were murdered in Auschwitz. There are whole limbs of his family tree cut. Severed.

"Take your despicable Holocaust analogies out of my city.

"You make me sick to my stomach."