Emily Thornberry, senior Jeremy Corbyn ally, to attend Board of Deputies dinner

The shadow foreign secretary is 'down to attend'


Emily Thornberry, a senior ally of Jeremy Corbyn, is due to attend the Board of Deputies dinner on Monday evening.

The shadow foreign secretary is “down to attend” the Jewish communal dinner, at which Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, is due to be the guest speaker.

Her attendance comes amid a growing schism within the community over how to deal with Labour over its antisemitism crisis.

In August, Board president Marie van der Zyl told an Israeli TV station that Mr Corbyn had “declared war on the Jews.”

But at a Board meeting last month, Mrs van der Zyl said: “Suspending relations with the party may create headlines but it would get us nowhere and leave us no wriggle room.

“I have always said that engagement does not mean concessions.”

Last week, the JC reported that a senior figure within the Board was pushing for a resumption of talks with the Labour leader’s office.

This came as former Board president Jonathan Arkush criticised Rabbi Danny Rich, senior rabbi of Liberal Judaism, for saying it was “not helpful” that there was “no discussion” between Labour and the Jewish community.

Mr Arkush said: “More than six months ago the Board and the JLC set out simple basic steps that Labour needed to take to restore the community’s trust. Labour signally failed to take them, indeed matters have got worse.”

In September, Ms Thornberry was one of the speakers at the launch of a public exhibition of designs for the planned Holocaust memorial next to parliament.

In her speech, she said: “Whenever we see members of any community facing abuse, prejudice, discrimination, let alone in a community that has suffered as much as our Jewish friends, and our brothers and our sisters, there is a responsibility on all of us to speak up.”

However, when the JC tried to ask Ms Thornberry as she was leaving the event about Mr Corbyn’s association with a group known for Holocaust denial, she gave no response.

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