We'll keep on fighting hate, says minister

November 24, 2016 23:28

The government will continue to regard the fight against antisemitism as a serious issue, a new minister has told a parliamentary group dedicated to combating Jew-hatred.

Baroness Williams confirmed that the new Conservative administration would back initiatives introduced in the previous parliament .

She said: "Make no mistake, this government takes fighting antisemitism seriously and that will never change."

The peer, who is Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government, was speaking at the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism's annual meeting on Tuesday.

In February a 120-page report from the group outlined a series of recommendations on the issue.

'Make no mistake, this government takes fighting antisemitism seriously'

Politicians were told at the meeting that seven of the 34 proposals had already been delivered or are being worked on by the government.

Baroness Williams said: "Just as on every previous occasion when the APPG has put proposals to government, we will meet these new recommendations and show that we are a country of one nation.

"There has been a fine tradition of regularly reporting back to Parliament on our progress in tackling antisemitism and I am pleased to say that this government will continue to uphold that tradition."

Parliamentarians were also updated on incidents of antisemitism during this year's general election campaign.

A new report showed that while there were cases of Jew-hatred, political parties had been quick to act and candidates' conduct had improved compared with previous elections.

Incidents during the campaign included a Conservative council candidate referring to Labour's Ed Miliband as "the Jew", the daubing of Jewish Tory candidate Simon Marcus's election placards with swastikas, and a series of alleged racist comments made by Ukip candidates.

"It was encouraging that compared with previous elections, and although incidents did occur, the 2015 election was not marred by incidents of racism and discrimination," the APPG report said. "To their credit, the political parties were generally swift to act and this should be welcomed."

The APPG's first session of the new parliament saw the appointment of new officers. Three new Labour MPs - Tulip Siddiq, Ruth Smeeth and Wes Streeting - have been appointed as vice-chairs of the group.

John Mann MP, re-elected as group chair, said: "We start this parliament as we finished the last, with a plan and determination to act."

November 24, 2016 23:28

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