Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has said this week he “looks forward to the day that our Embassy will move to Jerusalem”.
But while the U.S relocated its Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv in May 2018, the UK has not suggested any plans to follow in its footsteps.
Jenrick made the remark at an event on Tuesday hosted by the group Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) and attended by some 100 parliamentarians, including Chancellor Sajid Javid, Conservative chairman James Cleverly and Israel’s ambassador to the UK Mark Regev.
The Westminster reception came after President Donald Trump unveiled his Middle East peace plan on Tuesday. The proposal would see most of east Jerusalem under Israeli control and a Palestinian capital established on the outskirts of the city.
Trump’s so-called “Deal of the Century”, which divided public opinion in the UK, was dismissed by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, who called it a “conspiracy deal.”
The foreign secretary Dominic Raab described the plan as “clearly a serious proposal, reflecting extensive time and effort” and urged leaders to give it a “genuine and fair consideration.”
Speaking at the CFI event on Tuesday, the chancellor hailed the UK’s relationship with Israel, describing the country as “one of our closest friends in the world”.
Echoing Javid, the Israeli ambassador said: “There were a whole series of Conservative Prime Ministers who played an important role in strengthening the partnership with Israel.
“Whether it was the great Winston Churchill, or Margaret Thatcher, whether it was David Cameron or Theresa May, or whether it was the current Prime Minister Boris Johnson – all friends of Israel, all strong believers in the UK-Israel partnership”.