Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford is facing mounting criticism over his decision to speak at event alongside Ken Loach and other figures caught up in the Labour antisemitism scandal.
The Welsh Labour leader is confirmed in the line-up of names speaking at next month’s The World Transformed (TWT) event in Brighton, at which Jeremy Corbyn will also address attendees.
The event is timed to coincide with the official Labour Party conference with organisers saying the ticket only festival the festival will be a “welcoming space for a new generation of young activists who supported Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership” but feel “increasingly alienated” by Labour under Keir Starmer.
Despite confirming he faces expulsion from Labour over his membership of the proscribed Labour Against The Witch-hunt group, director Loach is billed as one of the leading names to speak at the four day event.
Loach has repeatedly challenged allegations of antisemitism in the past, and notoriously was once asked if he deemed it “unacceptable” to question the Holocaust.
He responded to the BBC interviewer by saying:“I think history is for us all to discuss, wouldn’t you.”
John Haywood, Labour councillor for Ringwood North in Hampshire, was among those to criticise the Welsh Labour leader’s decision to appear at TWT.
He tweeted:” Very very disappointed that @MarkDrakeford is on the bill at Twit Festival, which is basically a Trot jamboree taking place in Brighton at the same time as @UKLabour party conference.“
The Wales Against Antisemitism group also tweeted: “Why does Mark Drakeford, as First Minister of Wales, think it appropriate to speak at this event, given antisemitism controversies involving many of his fellow speakers?” Drakeford has been approached for comment by Jewish News over his decision to take part.
Next month’s TWT festival also includes Labour MPs John McDonnell, Zarah Sultana and Jon Trickett among its list of confirmed speakers.
Drakeford was approached by Jewish News for comment.
He is due to speak at the event on 27 September at a session devoted to discussing future of universal benefits.
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.
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.