MPs tackle football hatred

January 14, 2011
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Danny Stone, the representative council’s Michael Samuels, Ivan Lewis and Eric Ollerenshaw at Sunday’s meeting

Danny Stone, the representative council’s Michael Samuels, Ivan Lewis and Eric Ollerenshaw at Sunday’s meeting

Football and the internet are areas for new government efforts to fight antisemitism, Northern MPs have told Manchester Jewish Representative Council delegates.

Ivan Lewis (Bury South) and Eric Ollerenshaw (Lancaster and Fleetwood) addressed Sunday's council meeting, as did Danny Stone, director of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism.

Mr Ollerenshaw - once a councillor in the London Charedi enclave of Stamford Hill - reported "increasing concern" about policing the internet, which he said was "opening up a whole new area for how fascists can get their message across".

Moves for the police to begin publishing detailed statistics on antisemitism would help the authorities plan resources to combat anti-Jewish hatred.

As for action at a community level, Mr Lewis suggested greater emphasis on interfaith activities."Our community has got a long way to go when there are forces of conservatism acting as an obstacle to interfaith dialogue."

The Jewish MP later argued that young people should not be discouraged from meeting more often with those from other faiths in a "responsible environment".

He also said football authorities should work to reduce "organised associations of fascism" with the sport.

Mr Stone said his organisation had positive stories to tell about recent government action against antisemitism. International co-operation was the next challenge.

"In the European [Football] Championships in the Ukraine and Poland in 2012, we are very concerned about far-right groups being active," he warned.

    Last updated: 9:57am, January 14 2011