UK government

Jewish free schools are on schedule

By Jessica Elgot, October 14, 2010

Both new Jewish free schools are on target to open in September 2011, despite fears that up to half of the 16 new free schools will not meet deadlines to open in September.

Peter Kessler, leader of the group of parents who are planning to set up Haringey Jewish Primary School, said the school was making faster progress than nearly all of the other approved schools and pupils would be able to start in September.

The school is preparing a business plan and a public consultation in time for the government’s deadline at the beginning of December.


Shadow cabinet role for Jewish Labour MP

By Jennifer Lipman, October 8, 2010

The former vice-chairman of Labour Friends of Israel has been elected as the shadow minister for Culture Media and Sport.

Bury South MP Ivan Lewis received 104 votes, making him one of the 19 Labour MPs selected.

The Jewish politician, who in May was re-elected with a 3,292 majority, was a Foreign Office minister under Gordon Brown.

First elected in 1997, Mr Lewis has served as the chief executive of the Manchester Jewish Federation and is a trustee of the Holocaust Education Trust.


Analysis: Tories mend fences as Labour digs holes

By Martin Bright, October 7, 2010

Change is always unsettling and this season of political conferences has ushered in all the uncertainty that inevitably follows a general election. Fringe meetings at the Conservative Party conference were infused with an atmosphere of near- panic as desperate lobbyists scrambled for the ear of ministers, while trying to second-guess the coalition plans in advance of the comprehensive spending review.


'Serious concerns' about Ed Miliband

By Marcus Dysch, October 7, 2010

The election of new Labour leader Ed Miliband has caused serious consternation among leading members of the Jewish community and supporters of Israel.

They fear his comments on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during his main conference address and fringe event appearances presage a "new reality" in Labour's relations with the Jewish state.

Mr Miliband has rejected the chance to allay those concerns, with a party spokesman this week saying the new leader would not answer questions about his comments on Israel, his approach to foreign policy, or his plans to meet community leaders.


Hague at conference, calls for settlement freeze

By Jennifer Lipman, October 6, 2010

William Hague has called for a two state solution “which brings security to both Israelis and Palestinians.”

The Foreign Secretary told the Conservative Party Conference that the coalition government’s “strong support” of the Middle East peace process comes from the need for Britain to pursue foreign policy that reduces the human and financial costs of conflict.


Minister hints at security funding cut

By Leon Symons, September 21, 2010

Funding for new security measures in community schools may be cut under the government's wide-ranging review to reduce the national debt.

Cohesion minister Andrew Stunell hinted at the possibility after touring the headquarters of the Community Security Trust in north London.

Mr Stunell, Liberal Democrat MP for the Hazel Grove constituency in Stockport, said: "That issue is one I am aware of. However, we have a major financial review of everything coming up so I cannot comment specifically on that."

The CST declined to comment.


Stanley Fink to replace Rowland as treasurer

By Jennifer Lipman, August 20, 2010

Stanley Fink is to take over as the Conservative party’s treasurer following the resignation of businessman David Rowland.

Mr Fink, 52, currently serves as co-treasurer alongside Michael Spencer but will take on the top job following the Conservative party conference in October.


Israel to Hague: Come to see Gaza

By Marcus Dysch, August 19, 2010

William Hague will visit Israel within the next month on his first official visit to the region as Foreign Secretary - and has been invited by Israel's own Foreign Minister to visit Gaza.

The exact date of Mr Hague's trip is dependent on the completion of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which are currently being planned.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has suggested that Mr Hague also travels to Gaza as part of a group of European foreign ministers.

That raises the prospect of Hamas asking to meet the ministers during their visit.


Sir Philip Green takes on government budget

By Jennifer Lipman, August 13, 2010

Sir Philip Green has been given a role leading a government spending review.

David Cameron has appointed the Jewish billionaire Topshop boss, to identify where cuts can be made.

The unpaid role will require him and a team of civil servants to examine Labour’s last three years of spending.

His findings will then form part of Comprehensive Spending Review, to be announced in October.

The 58-year-old, who built up his empire from scratch after leaving school at 15, told BBC’s Radio 4's Today programme he thought centralising spending could be the way forward.


Doubts over universal jurisdiction 'solution'

By Marcus Dysch, July 29, 2010

Arguments over alterations to the universal jurisdiction legislation have continued this week, despite the government’s announcement of a proposal to change the law.
ustice Secretary Ken Clarke said the coalition would table a legislative amendment which will ensure the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is required before an arrest warrant can be issued, in response to a private prosecution for war crimes.

This would close the loophole which saw lawyers representing Palestinians secure such a warrant for Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni last December.