Veteran MP Steve McCabe to become chair of Labour Friends of Israel

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Veteran MP Steve McCabe to become chair of Labour Friends of Israel

The long-standing supporter of the parliamentary group, who served in Ed Miliband's shadow cabinet, visited Israel last year as part of a delegation

Steve McCabe
Steve McCabe

The veteran MP Steve McCabe is to take over the reins of Labour Friends of Israel (LFI).

McCabe, who was elected to parliament in 1997, is to become the parliamentary group’s new chair, it was announced on Monday.

The Labour MP is to succeed Ellman, who stood down as an MP at the December general election. Ellman replaced the former MP Joan Ryan after her resignation from the party last year. 

In a statement on Monday, McCabe paid tribute to his predecessors for the “manner in which they have led and supported the organisation in extremely difficult circumstances.”

He said: “With a change of leadership, there is an opportunity to reassert Labour’s support for a two-state solution – a policy which requires a balanced, constructive and well-informed debate within the party – and to rid it of the stain of antisemitism.”

Labour’s Birmingham Selly Oak MP served as shadow minister under the former Labour leader Ed Miliband and was a whip in Gordon Brown’s Labour government.

A long-standing supporter of LFI, McCabe visited Israel last year as part of a delegation.

Jennifer Gerber, director of LFI, described him as a “well-respected and highly experienced member of the Parliamentary Labour party.”

“The new parliament and Labour leadership election offers the chance to turn the page on the virulent anti-Zionism of the Corbyn era and we intend to use it to help restore the party’s former reputation as a strong friend of Israel and advocate of a two-state solution,” she said in a statement on Monday.

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