Lord Monroe Palmer has been appointed as Middle East advisor by new Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron.
The former Liberal Party treasurer and long-time barnet councillor, who has spoken for the party on defence in the lords, said he was “delighted to be able to assist”.
As his first party conference at the helm gets under way, Farron said: “I am looking forward to being able to draw on his vast experience and wise counsel. The Party remains firmly committed to a two state solution for Israel and Palestine based on peace and security for both peoples. With Monroe’s advice and support we will continue to do what we can to contribute to this end.”
Lord Palmer’s successor as Chairman of Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel Gavin Stollar said: “This appointment rightly recognises one of the Liberal Democrats’ foremost experts on Middle East politics.
“This news is also particularly stark at a time when Labour are electing a Leader who is anti-Israel and associates with anti-Semites, the Liberal Democrats are strengthening and elevating the influence of moderate and pro-two state voices like that of Lord Palmer. This appointment, coupled with reports today that Jenny Tonge is considering joining the Labour Party should send a strong message to the UK Jewish Community and beyond about who and what the Liberal Democrat Party represent today.”
Relations between supporters of Israel and the Liberal Democrats reached a low over the repeated slurs of former MP David Ward and Baroness Tonge and over Nick Clegg’s criticism of Israel’s operation against Hamas last year.