Ed Miliband has pledged that a Labour Government would continue to provide funding for security guards at Jewish schools.
The current administration announced shortly after coming to office that it would cover such costs for the around 40 state-funded Jewish schools in Britain for the five years until the 2015 election.
But, addressing nearly 1,000 the Community Security Trust’s annual dinner last night, Miliband pledged that he would continue that provision should he enter Downing Street next May. “Government has a key role to play in preventing hatred and prejudice in other respects too,” he told guests at the Grosvenor House Hotel.
“And I pledge to you that the next Labour government will remember and act on that responsibility. We will fight anti-Semitism wherever we find it, including those who seek to come to the UK to spread this evil prejudice. A Labour government would ensure funding continues to be made available for security to protect Jewish faith schools.” Community leaders have in recent weeks sought reassurances from both Miliband and the prime minister for the funding to be extended beyond 2015.
The latter was said to have been receptive to the idea but couldn’t make a commitment ahead of the spending review. During the dinner which marked 20 years of the CST, Miliband described the organisation as “extraordinary” – hailing its volunteers, partnership with police forces and work with others in helping to fight anti-Muslim hate crime, particularly in the wake of the murder of Lee Rigby.
Miliband told the audience of MPs, community leaders and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe: “The Jewish community in Britain today is confident and proud – it makes an extraordinary contribution to every part of our society. Part of that confidence owes itself to those – many of you here tonight – who take it upon yourselves to stand watch over the community’s safety and security.”