JFS: Board seeks equality bill redraft

By Leon Symons, July 20, 2009

The Board of Deputies has launched a two-pronged strategy in the wake of the Court of Appeal’s decision that the admissions policy operated by JFS broke the Race Relations Act.

Deputies at Sunday’s plenary meeting in central London were told that if JFS decides to seek leave to appeal to the House of Lords or the Supreme Court, which may be dealing with such matters, the Board will intervene as a friend of the Court to give it guidance on “who is a Jew”.

Board president Vivian Wineman said the Board was not taking any side in the matter but was acting for the good of the community as a whole and was the only communal organisation that could do so. The Board had already been offered the services of barristers who will act pro bono.

Mr Wineman also revealed that he and chief executive Jon Benjamin met Children, Schools and Families secretary Ed Balls last week to discuss JFS. Mr Wineman said it was the Board’s intention, if the House of Lords appeal failed, to try to introduce a clause in to the new Equality Bill that would solve the problem thrown up by the Court of Appeal’s decision.

The bill had passed its committee stage on July 7 and the Board would have to move swiftly if it was to lobby MPs to insert a new clause.

Last updated: 10:50am, July 20 2009