Jewish News to co-host Jewish Labour leadership debate

Jewish News to co-host Jewish Labour leadership debate

Sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy and Jess Phillips confirmed for event chaired by ITV’s political editor Robert Peston

Justin Cohen is the News Editor at the Jewish News

The candidates vying to become the next Labour leader will be grilled by an audience of Jewish voters next month.

The early front runner Sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey Lisa Nandy, and Jess Phillips have already signed up for the communal hustings event at JW3 on 13 February, with Emily Thornberry still to confirm.

The 90-minute event – chaired by ITV’s political editor Robert Peston – is being organised by Jewish News, the Jewish Labour Movement, Labour Friends of Israel and JW3.

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The highly-anticipated event will be the only opportunity for the Jewish community to press the candidates face-to-face on their response to the antisemitism crisis that has engulfed the party for four years, and their proposals for starting to mend relations. Questions on faith schools, Israel, Europe and the economy are also likely.

Ties reached such a low that JLM, the party’s only Jewish affiliate for a century, refused to campaign for any candidates other than a few at the General election, and the Chief Rabbi issued an unprecedented warning about Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour. Just six percent of Jewish voters suggested they’d back aour in December and a staggering 40 percent indicated they’d seriously consider leaving the country of Corbyn reached Number 10.

JLM chair Mike Katz said: “Our membership has swelled by nearly a thousand because people want to have a say in the future of the Labour Party and push it to truly tackle antisemitism. Our hustings will give JLM members the chance to grill leadership candidates on how they would approach the mammoth task of rebuilding trust between Labour and the Jewish community.”

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Jennifer Gerber, LFI Director said: “Antisemitic anti-Zionism rests at the heart of the Labour antisemitism crisis. We welcome the opportunity for Labour leadership candidates to address how they will tackle this issue and ensure a balanced approach towards Israel and Middle East policy.”

Peston said: “It is vital for our democracy that all religious and ethnic groups have confidence in our main political parties. So it is a privilege to chair a hustings in which Labour’s leadership candidates will explain how they would decisively and forever eliminate the scourge of antisemitism from their party”.

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