Labour Party Conference Diary: Never judge a person by their lanyard

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Labour Party Conference Diary: Never judge a person by their lanyard

The warm welcome for Dame Louise Ellman and Ruth Smeeth by many sectors of the conference shows how far Labour has already come under Keir Starmer

Never judge a person by their lanyard

One of the best aspects about this year’s Labour Conference was watching firstly Ruth Smeeth, the former Stoke on Trent MP, and Dame Louise Ellman – both high profile victims of the antisemitism crisis under Jeremy Corbyn – wonder around the main Brighton Centre venue to be greeted warmly by Labour members, MPs and councillors alike.

Smeeth, who lost her seat in the north west at the last election, admitted being nervous before giving a high profile speech to the conference demanding delegates back the changes to Labour’s disciplinary processes. But she needn’t have worried. Such a success was her speech, that she was seen being warmly praised by a group of Labour members, all of whom wore the Palestine Solidarity lanyards that had previously spelt danger under the previous leader.

Dame Louise Ellman at LFI’s stand

Louise Ellman was similarly surrounded by well-wishers, and senior party figures, as she wondered around the conference hall on Tuesday. One person not stopping to say hello though was Kim Johnson, the MP for Liverpool Riverside who replaced the former Labour Friends of Israel chair is the seat after Ellman quit.

Sky News are amongst the many media organisations who host evening party events at Labour, and the Tory Party conferences.

All of the Labour shadow cabinet appeared to be in attendance at Monday night’s event.

It was interesting to see many of Labour’s shadow cabinet engaging in very friendly chatter with representatives from the Israel’s UK embassy at the drinks bash.

Deputy leader Angela Rayner was amongst those who seemed keen to make sure all felt welcome in the room.

One leading Jewish communal figure revealed the resignation of Andy McDonald from Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet caused confusion amongst some senior figures in the party on Monday afternoon.

One member of the party’s NEC was overheard going around telling those who would listen that Andy Slaughter, the MP for Hammersmith, had suddenly resigned.

“He hadn’t realised there was another Andy in the shadow cabinet,” laughed the source.

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: