THERESA May’s former top aide was forced to deny being an anti-Semite yesterday after he attacked Jewish billionaire George Soros for donating to an anti-Brexit campaign.

A story published in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph, with Nick Timothy on its byline, tried to suggest Soros was engaged in a “secret plot” to overthrow Brexit, after he gave £400,000 to Best for Britain.

The attack line unsettled a number of Jewish groups, with the idea of a secret Jewish plot to overthrow a government a trope commonly used by anti-Semites.

The last few years have seen Soros, a Hungarian-born US citizen, who made his fortune in 1992 betting against sterling on Black Wednesday, become a figure of hate for many on the right.

He is often targeted by the supporters of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, and is frequently the victim of anti-Semitic smears.

Among the alt-right, and far-right, Soros is often painted as a shadowy puppet-master type figure.

Most recently, the far-right government in Hungary used fear about Soros to fuel a crackdown on political freedoms.

Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle newspaper, tweeted: “Telegraph story is disturbing because of the use of the idea it’s a ‘secret plot’.

“Soros is incredibly open about what he does. Say it’s wrong; fine. But idea it’s a secret plot is exactly the line being used in Hungary and elsewhere precisely because he is Jewish.”

Timothy attempted to defend himself: “Throughout my career I’ve campaigned against anti-Semitism, helped secure more funding for security at synagogues and Jewish schools, fought to lift the cap on faith schools and supported Israel.

“The accusations and insinuations against me are as absurd as they are offensive.”

The Best for Brexit charity was co-founded by Gina Miller, the businesswoman who took the Government to court in 2016, winning the right for MPs to vote on Article 50, the mechanism for triggering Brexit.

Soros made the donation through his Open Society Foundation.

Best for Britain chair Lord Mark Malloch Brown said his organisation had followed all the rules and regulations governing financial contributions.

He said: “We welcome the support of our patrons, especially the thousands of people who have chipped in small amounts to support our work. We have never hidden our agenda; we have been campaigning hard to win a meaningful vote on Brexit, which we did, and to keep all options on the table, including staying in the European Union.

Malloch added: “Far from subverting democracy, as the Telegraph alleges, we believe we speak for a democratic majority in a country now facing up to the consequences of a Brexit negotiation,” he said.