More than 200 councillors from across London heard a message of zero tolerance to antisemitism from politicians, alongside a number of Jewish organisations this week.
In the biggest seminar that the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the London Jewish Forum and the Jewish Leadership Council have organised, councillors attended sessions on antisemitism, Israel and education.
Giving a video message to the event, Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, thanked the Jewish community for its work supporting the vulnerable during the pandemic, including extending Mitzvah Day into Mitzvah month.
Mr Jenrick, who is married to the daughter of Holocaust survivors and whose children are being brought up as Jewish, said: “Our Faith communities together with our partners in local government have been at the forefront of the national response to the pandemic, and I am immensely grateful for your extraordinary efforts.”
While addressing the councillors, Steve Reed, the shadow secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, who previously apologised for a tweet describing a Jewish Conservative donor as a “puppet master”, added: “The EHRC report showed why the Labour Party has lost so much trust in the Jewish community. Every single one of us has a special responsibility to repair that broken relationship and show beyond doubt that we will no longer tolerate antisemitism in the Labour Party.”
Local representatives also heard from Board of Deputies vice president Amanda Bowman, who said that “ignorance is no excuse” when politicians use antisemitic tropes that the Jewish community is involved in conspiracies to encourage their supporters.
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