Government to increase spending for Jewish community security to £14 million
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Government to increase spending for Jewish community security to £14 million

Sajid Javid said he was raising the funding in part because of the record number of antisemitic incidents reported in 2018.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid. Photo credit: Aaron Chown/PA Wire
Home Secretary Sajid Javid. Photo credit: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Sajid Javid is to boost the Government’s financial commitment to Jewish community security by £600,000 to £14 million per year.

Ahead of his speech to the annual Community Security Trust (CST) dinner on Wednesday evening, the home secretary said he was raising the funding from its current £13.4 million in part because of the record number of antisemitic incidents reported in 2018.

Distributed by the CST, the money goes towards equipment and staffing costs to protect Jewish buildings and events, including schools and communal centres, with Labour MP Ruth Smeeth last week suggesting that the funding should be agreed on a multi-year basis, rather than on a year-by-year basis as at present.

On the spectre of antisemitism online, Javid also explained that the upcoming Online Harms White Paper will help clean up the “darkest corners of the internet” by setting out plans to compel tech companies to do more to protect UK citizens.

CST chief executive David Delew paid tribute to the Government’s commitment to the security of the British Jewish community, which now stands at £51 million since 2015, adding that he was “extremely grateful” for the funding boost.

“At a time of rising antisemitism, when Jewish people are increasingly worried about growing hatred and division in our society, this vital support will give renewed reassurance to the Jewish community that we do not stand alone,” said Delew.

The Wednesday evening dinner marks 25 years since the creation of the CST, and deputy chair Sir Lloyd Dorfman, who last year described Jeremy Corbyn as “Tinkerbell” compared to some of his inner circle, reflected that for most of those 25 years the problem of antisemitism has come mainly from the far-right.

“At CST we are strictly not party-political,” Dorfman told the audience. “But we must applaud the bravery of those Labour politicians who continue to fight antisemitism on the inside, as well as those who have recently broken away in protest.”

Dorfman also praised Sally Sealey, a senior civil servant in the Department for Communities and Local Government, who had “played a pivotal role” in the Government’s adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.

CST president Gerald Ronson also saluted Labour MPs past and present for their stand against antisemitism in the Labour Party, name-checking John Mann, Ruth Smeeth, Margaret Hodge, Louise Ellman, Ian Austin, Joan Ryan, and Luciana Berger, the latter three having recently resigned.

Ronson applauded Javid for his decision this week to proscribe the political wing of Hezbollah, saying: “You deserve our deepest thanks. The total banning of Hezbollah is down to your efforts. No longer will we have the sickening sight of their terrorist flags on our streets here in London, or anywhere else in the UK.”

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