UK government

Jewish MPs take up top positions in new government

By Robyn Rosen, May 21, 2010

A former B'nai B'rith Youth Organisation leader and a director of a Middle East peace foundation are among the Jewish politicians appointed as part of the new coalition government.

Grant Shapps, a one-time BBYO youth leader, who is now Conservative MP for Welwyn Hatfield, has been appointed Housing Minister and will work under Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

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Brooks Newmark MP gets business role

By Robyn Rosen, May 21, 2010

Jewish MP Brooks Newmark has been made Government Whip to the Business Department.

The Conservative has been MP for Braintree since 2005 and was re-elected earlier this month with a 16,121 majority.

His responsibilities, under Business Secretary Vince Cable, will include attending certain ministerial meetings and assisting in the passage of business legislation.

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Anti-Israel demo planned for David Cameron

By Jessica Elgot, May 14, 2010

Film director Ken Loach, Lib Dem peer Jenny Tonge, comedian Jeremy Hardy and Sir Gerald Kaufman MP are signatories to a petition which will be delivered to Downing St as part of an anti-Israel march this weekend.

It will be the first organised rally outside Downing Street since David Cameron became Prime Minister.

Representatives of the Green Party, UNITE, UNISON, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition and CND are also planning to attend.

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New Jewish ministers and the Miliband rivalry

By Jessica Elgot, May 14, 2010

The one-time BBYO leader, Grant Shapps, has been appointed Housing Minister in David Cameron’s new government.

Mr Shapps, who represents Welwyn and Hatfield, is a former vice-chairman of the Conservative Party. He will be part of the Department for Communities and Local Government, headed by Eric Pickles.

Oliver Letwin, once Shadow Chancellor when Michael Howard led the party, has been made Minister of State for Policy, and will attend cabinet meetings when required.

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Labour peer Lord Bernstein dies

By Jessica Elgot, April 13, 2010

Labour peer and former chairman of Granada Television, Lord Bernstein, has died aged 74.

Lord Bernstein, the former Alexander Bernstein, was spearheading a video documentation project of Anglo Jewry alongside the Jerusalem Foundation.

His father and uncle founded the Granada television company, of which he later became managing director and chairman.

A former pupil of Stowe School, Lord Bernstein studied at St John’s College, Cambridge.

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Martin Linton: Listen to his 'tentacles' speech

By Jessica Elgot, April 12, 2010

Martin Linton, MP for Battersea and chair of Labour Friends of Palestine, has apologised for describing the "long tentacles of Israel" reaching into British politics.

The Battersea MP said he was sorry for any offence but maintained he was not aware of the antisemitic precedents for the image of a Jewish octopus stretching around the world.

You can listen to the extract of Mr Linton's speech here.

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Minister David Lammy guest at Golders Green club

By Robyn Rosen, April 1, 2010

Higher Education Minister David Lammy was among the special guests as a Golders Green club for Orthodox boys celebrated its move to new premises.

Chaverim has taken over a former Kwik Fit outlet with plans to turn the site into a community centre.

The club incorporates a computer centre, library, lounge and pool, snooker and table tennis tables.

It runs activities for all ages between seven and 25 and has 1,800 members. Over 200 people attended the official opening.

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MP: Israel's tentacles will steal the election

By Martin Bright and Robyn Rosen, March 29, 2010

The election campaign took a distinctly unpleasant turn last week as pro-Palestinian MPs suggested the “Israel lobby” would play a behind-the-scenes role in key constituencies.

Martin Linton, chair of Labour Friends of Palestine, told a meeting at the House of Commons held by the Palestine Solidarity

Campaign and Friends of al-Aqsa: “There are long tentacles of Israel in this country who are funding election campaigns and putting money into the British political system for their own ends.

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MP's son sells deadly 'legal high'

By Jessica Elgot and Leon Symons, March 26, 2010

Jewish MP Louise Ellman’s son Sean sold the controversial “legal high” mephedrone – known as “meow meow” – in his chain of drug accessory stores.

Sean Ellman, 37, is the son of Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside, and vice-chair of the Labour Friends of Israel.

Speaking from Liverpool, Mrs Ellman told the JC: "I am aware of the story. This is my son’s business and he is 37 years old. I have no connection with it. I disapprove of the activities reported in The Sun."

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Miliband: War crimes law failure is Tories' fault

By Simon Rocker, March 25, 2010

David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, has blamed the Conservatives for preventing an early change in the law in order to make it more difficult to arrest visiting Israelis.

Although the government published its proposal to amend the law last week, there is no prospect of it being passed before the next election.

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