Community leaders have vowed to “find ways of working with” Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour as some Jewish members resigned their party membership following his election. 

New elected: Deputy Leader Tom Watson with leader Jeremy Corbyn

New elected: Deputy Leader Tom Watson with leader Jeremy Corbyn (Source: Wikimedia commons

Both the Jewish Leadership Council and Board of Deputies said they were ready to meet the new leader while the latter offered its congratulations. 

A JLC statement said: “The Jewish Leadership Council will, as we always have, find ways of working with Her Majesty’s Opposition on matters relevant to us. 

“Over the course of the leadership campaign, we had a number of concerns regarding some of Mr Corbyn’s past connections, and his stances on policy areas of great significance to the Jewish community. It is important that the legitimate concerns of the community are addressed.”

“We look forward to meeting with Mr Corbyn at the first available opportunity to discuss our concerns, but also ways in which the Labour Party and the Jewish community can continue to work together in a spirit of cooperation and understanding. We hope that the Labour movement remains a welcoming environment for members of the Jewish community, many of whom have lifelong commitments to it.”

Board President Jonathan Arkush said: “We would like to congratulate Jeremy Corbyn on his election as Labour leader. We look forward to meeting him to discuss the priorities and concerns of Britain’s Jewish community.”

But a local Labour source told the Jewish News that around a dozen members had resigned from the Henson branch in the hours after the election, mostly of whom were Jewish. The source expected more resignations locally.

While early indications are that most prominent Jewish Labour figures would remain in the party to fight, former Labour Friends of Israel director David Mencer announced he would leave after 20 years as a member.