Miliband: I’ve never felt closer to the Jewish community

Ed Miliband at the CST dinner (Photo: John Rifkin)

Ed Miliband at the CST dinner (Photo: John Rifkin)

Ed Miliband has revealed that his relationship with the Jewish community has grown and deepened in the years since he became leader of the Labour Party.

He told guests at the Community Security Trust’s annual dinner on Wednesday: “I feel more part of the Jewish community than at any other time in my life”.

The Labour leader also emphasised the importance of supporting Israel and recalled how the country “provided sanctuary” to his grandmother after the Holocaust.

He said his trip to Israel next month would be “a very special moment”.

Mr Miliband promised that his party would continue to fund security for Jewish faith schools if it came to power and pledged to take the lead in “fighting antisemitism wherever we find it”.

He said he would remember the need to prevent hatred and prejudice and act against them if he becomes Prime Minister.

Marking the charity’s 20th anniversary, Mr Miliband praised CST’s “extraordinary” achievements and its thousands of volunteers who provide security for the Jewish community.

He highlighted the charity’s work following the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby last year. “CST was quick to help manage community tensions,” he said.

Mr Miliband said the security organisation was “at the forefront of the continuing and crucial efforts to work for mutual respect and friendship between all of our communities”.

But he warned that its work was “nowhere near complete”.

There was further praise for the “extraordinary contribution” of British Jews to “every part of our society”.

Guests at the dinner in London included Shadow Cabinet members Yvette Cooper and Ed Balls, Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, and Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis.

Last updated: 2:40pm, March 6 2014