Ex Labour MP used parliamentary pass 48 times due to antisemitism crisis

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Ex Labour MP used parliamentary pass 48 times due to antisemitism crisis

Ivor Caplin, who was MP for Hove for eight years, said he used his grace and favour pass strictly for JLM business

Ivor Caplin
Ivor Caplin

A former Labour MP who recently chaired the Jewish Labour Movement has said he used his grace and favour parliamentary pass 48 times owing to the party’s antisemitism crisis.

Ivor Caplin, MP for Hove for eight years from 1997-2005, now runs Ivor Caplin Consultancy. He says he has “regular contact with both politicians and officials” but this week said his prolific use of the Westminster pass was strictly for JLM business.

“Given the antisemitism crisis in the party at the time I made numerous visits to the house to discuss this with MPs, peers and others, including journalists,” he said. “I do not and never have used the house for the purposes of my business.”

Caplin’s frequent use of his ‘Category X’ grace and favour pass – roughly one in every four days of parliamentary sitting – was revealed this week following a Freedom of Information request.

The passes grant the bearer access to the corridors of power, as well as parliament’s subsidised restaurants and bars, and MPs who serve at least one term are eligible to apply, but critics say the system is being abused by lobbyists.

Caplin, who is Jewish, served first as JLM’s national spokesperson, then as its interim chair, in a role that lasted less than a year, before Mike Katz was elected in April 2019.

In July 2018 there were reports that Caplin “had been played” after attending a meeting with Labour’s then general-secretary Jennie Formby ahead of the publication of the party’s new code of conduct on antisemitism.

It was only several months later that the party’s leadership finally adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism with all its working examples.

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