UK government

Employment Minster acts to end benefit row

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 28, 2013

Employment minister Esther McVey is backing new regulations to stop discrimination against unemployed Jews who refuse to work on Shabbat.

Ms McVey and Jobcentre national director Neil Couling have told the Jewish employment charity JCom that rules would be “tweaked” to end the practice of denying job seekers allowance (JSA) to observant Jews.


Storm over Jack Straw ‘hate’ remarks

By Marcus Dysch, October 31, 2013

Israeli Ambassador Daniel Taub has said comments made by former British foreign secretary Jack Straw follow a “very troubling tradition” of familiar tropes about “sinister Jewish power”.

The ambassador was speaking after a row over Mr Straw’s remarks in a Parliamentary debate on diplomacy in the Middle East.


Crucial report will help fight abuse of politicians

By Martin Bright, October 30, 2013

We like to reassure ourselves with the idea that UK election campaigns are a model of propriety: a mixture of healthy, robust knockabout and charming amateurishness.

Despite recurring stories in recent years about postal-vote fraud, it is probably still safe to say that our elections remain among the least corrupt in the world.


Interview: Liam Fox - Dealing with Iran, Syria and our trivia obsession

By Marcus Dysch, October 25, 2013

Resigning from government and returning to the backbenches cannot be easy to stomach for any politician, and must be less comfortable still when the cabinet departure is precipitated by a scandal.


‘Anti-Israel’ MP gets top job on all-party Jewish group

By Marcus Dysch, October 24, 2013

An MP with a history of supporting anti-Israel campaigns has defended his appointment as a senior official of a new parliamentary group promoting Jewish issues.

Labour’s Gateshead MP Ian Mearns was selected as the vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Jews at its launch earlier this month.


MPs' anger in benefit dispute

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 17, 2013

An MP has described as farcical the situation facing Jewish job seekers who have been denied benefits for saying they will not work on Shabbat.


Drives to boost honours for ethnic community

By Rosa Doherty, October 11, 2013

The government is calling for more members of ethnic communities — including Jews — to be nominated for national honours.

The Cabinet Office, which oversees the process, has organised a drive to boost the numbers of CBEs, MBEs and knighthoods going to members of minority groups.


All-Party group starts with 20 members

By Simon Rocker, October 10, 2013

A group to promote Jewish issues in Parliament put behind it the arguments over its birth and launched in the House of Commons this week.

Hendon Conservative MP Matthew Offord, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Jews, declared that there had been a “very good response” at its inaugural meeting on Wednesday.


Alistair Burt exits Foreign Office

By Charlotte Oliver, October 7, 2013

Alistair Burt has confirmed he is leaving his position as Foreign Office minister in today’s Cabinet reshuffle.

Mr Burt posted on Twitter: “Standing down today. The last three and a half years have been a pleasure working on an extraordinary portfolio with talented people. Thank you all!”


British minister condemns murder of Israeli soldiers

By Marcus Dysch, September 23, 2013

The murder of two Israeli soldiers over the weekend has been condemned by Britain's Middle East minister.

Alistair Burt said the deaths of Gavriel Kobi and Tomer Chazan were "tragic".

Sgt Gabriel Koby, 20, was shot by a sniper while on patrol in Hebron on Sunday.

His death came after Tomer Chazan, also 20, was lured to a West Bank village by a Palestinian and killed on Friday night.