Isaac Herzog has told Jeremy Corbyn he won’t meet him during his upcoming visit to London after the former originally requested face-to-face talks.
The Press Association reported yesterday that a spokesman for the UK Labour leader confirmed a meeting would take place when his Israeli counterpart visits the UK later this month for the UK-Israel Shared Strategic Challenges Conference, organised by the Jewish News and BICOM. They said a precise date had yet to be set.
But Corbyn’s office has now told the Jewish News that it has been informed in the past 24 hours that Herzog is unable to find time in his schedule to meet during this short trip.
“It now doesn’t work with their schedule on this trip,” a spokesman said. “We’re looking forward to meeting on his next visit.”
Herzog wrote to Corbyn earlier this year to invite him to lead a delegation to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem following the suspension of Ken Livingstone and Naz Shah amid an escalating row over anti-Semitism. The Islington MP – who was criticised for a delayed response – asked his deputy Tom Watson or party General Secretary Ian McNicol to look at making the trip “on my behalf” because of diary commitments “in the immediate” future.
Corbyn did however pledge to visit Israel again, adding “I look forward to the chance to meet and exchange views as soon as possible.”
Watson took part in an Labour friends of Israel delegation to the country this week.