JN Labour Party Conference Diary: Day One

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here
Labour Party Conference

JN Labour Party Conference Diary: Day One

Lee Harpin brings you all the major talking points from Brighton, including the return of a former councillor and a controversial badge on a Labour MP

Sunday was a momentous day at Labour Conference for many reasons – not least for the fact that it emerged that one of the high-profile departures from the party under Jeremy Corbyn had decided to rejoin.

Langleben’s return

Attendees to fringe events held by the Labour First group and the Jewish Labour Movement would have heard mentions made by former Jewish MP Ruth Smeeth of Adam Langleben’s pivotal role in getting the EHRC to investigate Jeremy Corbyn’s party.

But there was also more news to be shared with those at both gatherings. Langleben had renewed his Labour Party membership – two and a half years after quitting.

Adam Langleben

In February 2019, Langleben, a senior figure in JLM and former Labour councillor, had famously written an open letter to Corbyn saying he could no longer remain in the party due to anti-Jewish racism.

It is a testament to the changes that have taken place under Keir Starmer that he now feels confident enough to rejoin.

Buttler’s JVL badge 

Meanwhile, questions were being asked of Labour’s Brent South MP today – after a photograph emerged of her holding up a Lesbians For Labour T-shirt, which also revealed an upside down badge of the Jewish Voice For Labour group underneath the right arm.

Dawn Buttler and her JVL badge

Some observers suggested the JVL badge was pinned onto Dawn’s conference pass – even though many of the group’s members and expelled or suspended from Labour, mainly over their support of other banned organisations.

Or may, just maybe, the badge was pinned onto the T-shirt Dawn was holding up – and she hadn’t noticed it? We have contacted her to ask…

Who says our Jewish communal leaders don’t put the hours in?

Labour antisemitism rule change 

The crucial vote on Labour’s antisemitism rule changes took place on a Sunday – reason enough for senior figures from the Board of Deputies, Jewish Leadership Council and the London Jewish Forum to travel down to Brighton to witness events.

Jewish News spotted new Board chief executive Michael Wegier president Marie van der Zyl, out-going communications chief Phil Rosenberg and public affairs officer Daniel Sugarman in Sussex after the momentous vote took place.

Phil Rosenberg and Michael Wegier at the specially constructed Board sukkah outside conference.

London Jewish Forum chair Adrian Cohen, dressed very smartly, was also seen on the seafront looking pleased with the outcome of conference proceedings.

Meanwhile Claudia Mendoza, the JLC’s co-chair had also taken the Thames Link train down to the south-coast – and she wasn’t here for the sun-bathing either.

The JLC had arranged a successful visit to an impressive new Brighton shul and community building for Labour’s Jo Stevens, the shadow digital, culture, media and sport secretary in the morning.

Hard-working Mendoza hung around in Brighton as the result from conference became known.

Phil Rosenberg and Michael Wegier had some succot celebrations, at the specially constructed Board succah outside conference.

Palestinian fashion missing 

Either they’ve become another victim of the post-Brexit delivery crisis, or they’ve fallen out of fashion, but one of the most noticeable thing about this year’s Labour Conference is the lack of Palestinian badges and lanyards amongst delegates.

In the Corbyn era, you looked out of place if you didn’t have some form of Palestine fashion merchandise on show.

One individual who was still sporting a Palestinian lanyard was Mish Rahman, who sits on Labour’s NEC.

But he ran a mile when Jewish News attempted to speak to him outside the Brighton Centre on Sunday.

Suspect I’ll see rather more Palestine fashion on display when I venture into the Momentum backed The World Transformed event also in the city this week.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: