Former Government minister Joan Ryan has expressed her “delight” after being named the new chair of Labour Friends of Israel, writes Sara Marshall.

Ryan replaces Dame Anne McGuire, who stood down from the role in May Ryan said: “Labour must be steadfast in its support for Israel, the Middle East’s only democracy and a state founded upon social democratic values, and a two-state solution.

Joan Ryan

Joan Ryan

“We will continue to work with progressives in both Israel and Palestine who share our commitment to peace and co-existence.” She added: “We remain adamantly opposed to boycotts and sanctions, which delegitimise Israel, do nothing to further these goals and have no place in the Labour party.”

As a former Home Office minister, senior whip and vice-chair of the Labour Party, Ryan brings a wealth of experience to her new role. Her background in domestic politics aside, she also served as a special representative to Cyprus in Gordon Brown’s government.