Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry is to attend an official dinner commemorating the centenary of the Balfour Declaration next week, after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn declined.

Thornberry’s attendance follows communal consternation at what was seen as a snub
by Corbyn, with Jonathan Goldstein of the Jewish Leadership Council saying his absence was “deeply unfortunate”.

A spokesman for Corbyn said he was “unable to attend” the London event, but supporters of Israel suspect otherwise, after Thornberry again appeared in Corbyn’s place at a Labour Friends of Israel event last month.

Goldstein said he was “disappointed” Corbyn would not attend the event on the 100th anniversary of Lord Balfour’s declaration of British support for a national Jewish homeland in Palestine.

However Ben Jamal, of the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, said: “It is highly appropriate he has refused the invite and shameful that any British politician would consider participating in an event that celebrates the Declaration.”