Labour

Israel friends change tack and relaunch

By Martin Bright, January 13, 2011

Labour Friends of Israel is to re-invent itself as a membership organisation to argue actively for the two-state solution and develop the "progressive case" for Israel.

The new direction will be outlined at a seminar in March held jointly in Westminster with the New Labour magazine Progress to promote a fresh strategy for Israel's friends within the Labour Party and the trade union movement.

In recent years LFI has found itself increasingly forced into a fire-fighting role against a growing anti-Zionist sentiment in the Labour movement and the wider British left.

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BNP's Nick Griffin in bid for Phil Woolas' Oldham seat

By Jennifer Lipman, December 3, 2010

British National Party leader Nick Griffin has hinted that he may contest the Oldham East and Saddleworth constituency in a by-election next year.

The seat is up for grabs because Phil Woolas’ victory last May has been voided after he was found guilty of lying about his Liberal Democrat rival’s views on extremism.

Mr Griffin, currently an MEP for the far-right party, wrote on his Twitter page: "Our local organiser well up for it with me as candidate."
He also described Mr Woolas, an immigration minister under the last government, as a “Labour liar”.

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Phil Woolas: 'I'm out' as he loses Oldham East election challenge

By Jennifer Lipman, December 3, 2010

A by-election will be held in the Oldham East and Saddleworth constituency after Labour’s former immigration minister Phil Woolas lost a legal challenge to keep his parliamentary seat.

The High Court today rejected Mr Woolas’ attempt to overturn a ruling which found him guilty of lying about a rival and voided the result of the May election which returned him as the constituency’s MP.

The initial result was challenged by the Liberal Democrat candidate Elwyn Watkins, who lost by just 103 votes.

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Galloway, Corbyn rapped by Ofcom for Press TV Israel programme

By Jennifer Lipman, November 22, 2010

Ofcom has ruled that George Galloway repeatedly breached broadcasting standards on impartiality during a series of Press TV programmes on which he described Israel as “a terrorist gangster state” and a “miscreant, law breaking rogue, war launching, occupying state.”

The media watchdog also found that Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn did not show due impartiality when he appeared on the Iranian-backed channel as a guest on Mr Galloway’s weekly Comment show.

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Oona King, Michael Grade, Stanley Fink to go to House of Lords

By Marcus Dysch and Jennifer Lipman, November 19, 2010

The chair of Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel (LDFI) and the former chief executive of the Chief Rabbi’s Office are among the more than 50 new members of the House of Lords.

Monroe Palmer, a Liberal Democrat councillor, will be joined as a peer by two Jewish former MPs, Susan Kramer and Oona King.

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Labour MP's son gets ASBO for selling 'legal highs'

By Robyn Rosen, November 12, 2010

Labour MP Louise Ellman’s son Sean has been given an Asbo to stop him selling controversial “legal highs” in his chain of drug accessory stores.

Sean Ellman, 38, has been banned from selling cannabis seeds and products containing the hallucinogen dimethyltryptamine at his Dr Hermans shops.

Mr Ellman is the son of the MP for Liverpool Riverside, who is vice-chair of the Labour Friends of Israel.

He was arrested last month for allegedly selling class A drugs.

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Woolas facing new vote for Islamic extremism smears

By Marcus Dysch and Jennifer Lipman, November 5, 2010

A Labour MP who claimed his Liberal Democrat opponent was involved with Islamic extremists is facing a by-election after a judge found that he knowingly made false accusations.

During the 2010 campaign, shadow immigration minister Phil Woolas, fighting for reelection to his Oldham East seat, accused his opponent of wooing extremist Muslims.

Mr Woolas won the seat with 103 more votes than Elwyn Watkins for the Liberal Democrats.

But a special election court has now ruled that the MP breached election regulations by making false claims and there must now be another poll.

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Ed Miliband: Hamas, Ken Livingstone and Jewish values

By Martin Bright, November 4, 2010

Ed Miliband’s Jewish intellectual heritage could not be more impeccable. His father, Ralph Miliband remains a colossus of the British left, who lies buried in Highgate cemetery within sight of Karl Marx himself.

His mother Marion Kozak, is a feminist thinker and human rights activist of considerable renown. Both parents were Polish Jews who came to Britain as refugees from fascism.

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Ken Livingstone criticised for supporting Labour opponent

By Jennifer Lipman, October 20, 2010

Ken Livingstone is facing criticism and calls for his expulsion from the Labour Party after he appeared to be campaigning against the party’s candidate in Tower Hamlets.

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On this day: Harold Wilson’s Labour wins a majority

By Jennifer Lipman, October 11, 2010

October 1974 saw a record 45 Jewish MPs elected to parliament. Of those, 35 were “Jewish socialists” while ten were Conservatives. In total, 91 Jewish candidates stood for election, less than at the February vote.

However The JC reported that “at his own request, MP Clement Freud…is no longer included in the list of Jewish parliamentarians.”

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