New UK Labour Party Leadership Continues Fence-Mending Efforts With British Jews
Efforts to repair the rift between British Jews and the opposition Labour Party continued on Wednesday, as a prominent member of the party’s shadow cabinet promised Jewish community leaders that the antisemitism that flourished in its ranks under former far-left leader Jeremy Corbyn would not be tolerated.
Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary Steve Reed told an online meeting that he was committed to ensuring that “the rift between the Labour Party and the UK’s Jewish community is mended.”
In a later statement, Reed said that he wanted to assure Jewish leaders “that I will do everything I can to ensure that the Jewish community feels safe and secure.”
Reed reiterated the apology to the Jewish community given by Labour’s new leader, Sir Keir Starmer.
“I repeated Keir Starmer’s apology to the Jewish community for Labour’s failure to tackle antisemitism and my determination to see swift action against those responsible for it in our party,” Reed said. “I gave my assurance that I will do whatever I can to combat those who seek to promote or excuse antisemitism anywhere in our society and will be writing to all Labour’s local government leaders to ask those who have not yet done so to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism in full and with all its examples, including reminding them not to support actions that seek to delegitimize the State of Israel.”
Wednesday’s meeting followed a telephone call earlier this week between Starmer and Britain’s chief rabbi, Sir Ephraim Mirvis, on the occasion of Yom HaShoah.
Thank you to Sir Keir Starmer for his personal call today to convey his solidarity with the Jewish community as we mark Yom Hashoah. I welcomed hearing directly of his commitment to take the necessary action… 1/2
— Chief Rabbi Mirvis (@chiefrabbi) April 21, 2020