The doyenne of Jewish Labour politics, Louise Ellman, was formally made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in a ceremony with Prince Charles at the end of last week.
The new Dame Louise has been MP for Liverpool Riverside since 1997 and, though a backbencher, has been one of the most influential voices in parliament through her long-time chairmanship of the Transport Select Committee of the Commons.
Her new honour, for services to politics, was announced in the Queen’s Birthday awards in June 2018. Dame Louise has been a long-time chair of the Jewish Labour Movement and a vice-chair of the Labour Friends of Israel.
She said that she regarded her award as “reflecting the importance of the people of Riverside and the regeneration of Liverpool,” and described her investiture by Prince Charles as “a very special occasion and a fantastic experience”.
A Mancunian by birth, Dame Louise led Lancashire County Council for 16 years and has been a vocal spokesperson for Israel in parliament. She was one of the principal targets of social media antisemitism in the last several years, but vowed to stay and fight for a different kind of Labour politics within the party.
While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.
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