UK government

Minister vows strong Israel ties

July 11, 2008

Britain’s business minister has pledged to strengthen the ties between Israel and the UK.

John Hutton, Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, told the British-Israel Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner: “We must continue to actively encourage those people committed to the realisation of an Israel free from terror and at peace for generations to come, alongside a viable, independent and prosperous Palestinian state.


Ambition: to be an MP

By Candice Krieger, June 20, 2008

Political writer Neil Glass is to stand against the former Shadow Home Secretary David Davis in the Haltemprice and Howden by-election and has promised to donate half his MP’s salary to charity should he get elected. The by-election, likely to take place on July 10, has been triggered by Mr Davis’s profound opposition to the government’s insistence that terror suspects should be detained for a minimum of 42 days.


Welsh call to boycott envoy

June 13, 2008

The presiding officer of the Welsh Assembly has urged its members to boycott a meeting with Ron Prosor, the Israeli ambassador.

Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas emailed Assembly Members stating that he thought they should shun the ambassador. “I am unwilling to accept the invitation to meet the ambassador because of my objection to the failure of the state of Israel to meet its international obligations to the Palestinian people of the Holy Lands,” he wrote. “I would invite other colleagues to do the same.” 


MSPs clash over Auschwitz trips

By Leon Symons, June 13, 2008

Members of the Scottish Parliament have clashed for the second time in a month over funding for school trips to Auschwitz. 

In May, Labour MSPs attacked the ruling Scottish National Party and the Tories for forcing through a decision that individual institutions should decide for themselves how to spend £150,000 given to Scottish schools by Westminster.

The decision meant the money was not ring-fenced for sending pupils on visits to Auschwitz concentration camp, as it has been in England.


Two women mayors start work in Herts

By Jay Grenby, June 13, 2008

Councillor Sandra Parnell (Hertsmere) and Councillor Farida Turner (Elstree and Borehamwood) have respectively been installed as borough and town council mayors.

As Mayor of Hertsmere, Councillor Parnell, 70, represents the major Jewish centres of Borehamwood, Elstree, Bushey and Radlett. Having served as deputy mayor, her plans to make aliyah were scuppered by the death of her husband, Leslie, earlier this year.


Lib dem leader addresses sixth-formers

June 13, 2008

Liberal Democrat leader in the Lords, Lord McNally, addressed Immanuel College sixth-formers as part of the “Peers in Schools” programme. Lord McNally discussed the relationship between the Commons and the Lords and some of the Bills currently going through Parliament.


Councils block security funds for schools

By Leon Symons, May 23, 2008

An MP who has taken a leading role in fighting antisemitism is preparing to confront 14 local authorities which have baulked at committing themselves to fund new security projects at Jewish schools in their areas.

The government gave the councils the go-ahead last October to allocate money to such projects from a £21 billion, three-year education budget.


MPs slam universities over race-hate

By Leon Symons, May 23, 2008

Antisemitism on campus and the internet were the main targets during a debate on antisemitism in the main chamber of the House of Commons last week.

MPs from all sides of the House took the chance to express their views and comment on the government’s performance in acting on the recommendations of the Parliamentary All-Party Antisemitism report.

An international conference on antisemitism, supported by the Foreign Office, is to be held in London in February next year.


Rabbi speaks on abortion

May 23, 2008

The Reform movement’s Rabbi Jonathan Romain spoke against lowering the abortion limit from 24 weeks at a breakfast briefing for MPs ahead of this week’s vote.

Attempts to reduce the limit to 20 or 22 weeks were decisively defeated in the House of Commons on Tuesday night.


Let Lord Levy speak his mind

By Geoffrey Alderman, May 9, 2008

The attacks on Michael Levy’s new memoir are groundless