Margaret Hodge: Starmer’s election ‘an enormous weight lifted off our shoulders’
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Margaret Hodge: Starmer’s election ‘an enormous weight lifted off our shoulders’

Jewish Labour Movement parliamentary chair warned that actions will speak louder than any words

James Libson, Margaret Hodge MP, Peter Mason and Mike Katz (Credit: Jewish Labour Movement)
James Libson, Margaret Hodge MP, Peter Mason and Mike Katz (Credit: Jewish Labour Movement)

Dame Margaret Hodge has compared Keir Starmer’s election as Labour leader to the lifting of “an enormous weight” during a talk on Wednesday.

She was joined by Mishcon de Reya managing partner James Libson and the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) national secretary Peter Mason and national chair Mike Katz.

They discussed the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s formal investigation into the Labour Party launched last May to determine whether it had unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or victimised Jews.

“Today the atmosphere and the approach has been completely transformed by the election of Keir Starmer,” the Barking MP said about Jeremy Corbyn’s successor during the JLM event live-streamed on Facebook today.

“It’s like an enormous weight has been lifted off our shoulders, and we feel that we can start to breathe,” she added.

But the MP warned that actions to combat alleged antisemitism within the party will speak louder than any words. “The hurt and the anger that we all feel really goes deep … not just among the activists, but in the community,” she said.

Later on, in response to a question from an online user about the Black Lives Matter movement, she said: “We mustn’t allow it to dissipate. We’ve got to ensure that the outbreak of fury and anger and frustration that’s being pressed by the black community converts into real action.”

Meanwhile, in earlier remarks about the global movement for reform, Mason expressed solidarity with British minority communities continuing to “fight for their political and civil rights.”

He said: “There are communities in this country who still do not enjoy those rights, whether that’s the black community, whether that is the Asian community whether that is the Muslim community, those fights and those arguments are still yet to be won, and we absolutely as a movement as a Jewish Labour movement show solidarity, we stand alongside those who continue to fight for their political and civil rights.”

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