Conservative party

Conservative party chairman who is ‘a Brit who happens to be Jewish’

By Martin Bright, October 4, 2012

Grant Shapps is nothing if not confident. Since taking over as chair of the Conservative Party last month, he has shifted the focus to the next election, even installing a giant countdown clock in the office. When I visited, it was at 948 days and some eager staffers had programmed the clock as their screensaver.

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Ilford MP Lee Scott made Chris Grayling's secretary

By Anna Sheinman, September 24, 2012

Ilford North MP Lee Scott has been appointed as the parliamentary private secretary to the new Secretary of State for Justice Chris Grayling. Mr Scott will attend future meetings of the Justice ministerial team.

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Friends groups head to Israel

By Martin Bright, September 20, 2012

A combined Lords and Commons cricket team will fly to Israel the day after David Cameron’s speech to the Conservative Party conference. The delegation aims to use Britain’s greatest sporting export to combine Middle East fact-finding with cultural diplomacy.

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Reshuffle: Cameron moves Grant Shapps to Conservative Party chairman

By Jennifer Lipman, September 4, 2012

Former Housing Minister and onetime BBYO leader Grant Shapps has been named as the new Conservative Party co-chairman.

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Matthew Gould is right. We do need to talk about Israel

By Shimon Cohen, August 16, 2012

The British ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, recently expressed the view that those who care about Israel's standing in the world "should be concerned by the erosion of popular support" for it in the UK.

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So long, farewell, Louise — you've been a real Mensch

By Jennifer Lipman, August 9, 2012

My first introduction to Louise Mensch, a rising star of the Conservative Party until her resignation this week, was not through her politics. Nor was it through her Twitter persona, from which she has gained a notoriety that even Boris Johnson would covet.

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Sophisticated diplomat in Tel Aviv

By Martin Bright, August 9, 2012

The spat between Conservative Friends of Israel and our man in Tel Aviv has taken a lot of people by surprise. Matthew Gould has rarely been out of the news since he took up his post as UK ambassador and had previously been under fire from figures on the left who questioned his loyalty as this country's first Jewish envoy to Israel.

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Conservative Friends of Israel attack envoy Matthew Gould

By Marcus Dysch, August 9, 2012

Parliament's biggest pro-Israel lobby group has attacked the British ambassador to the country after he claimed that public opinion was turning against Israel due to its policies on settlements and treatment of Palestinians.

Conservative Friends of Israel said Matthew Gould's remarks on anti-Israel sentiment in Britain and boycott campaigns were "unrepresentative of reality".

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The MP who expenses his Hebrew classes

By Jennifer Lipman, August 9, 2012

A Conservative MP who wanted to learn Hebrew enrolled in lessons – but with the taxpayer footing the bill.

Nick Boles, who met his Israeli partner on a visit to the Jewish state with Conservative Friends of Israel, included the £678 cost of the lessons on his expenses bill.

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Louise Mensch resigns as MP for family reasons

By Jennifer Lipman, August 6, 2012

One of the most vocal supporters of Israel in parliament has resigned to move to the United States.

Louise Mensch, the Corby MP, is not Jewish but has a strong connection with the community dating back to time as a student in Oxford, when she joined Rabbi Shmuley Boteach's Chabad L'Chaim Society.

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