Jackie Walker meeting moved to Quakers venue after Methodist Church cancels booking


The organisers of a meeting scheduled to take place in a local Methodist church were forced to change venue after objections to Jackie Walker, the suspended Labour activist, appearing as a speaker.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign fundraising event was due to take place at the Chapel Field Methodist Church in Norwich but moved to the nearby Quakers' Friends Meeting House after a complaint by the Board of Deputies about the appearance of Ms Walker.

Methodist Church officials were said to be unaware that Ms Walker would be speaking when it took the booking for the event.

“We have sincerely apologised to the Orthodox synagogue near our church,” the source said. “We had no idea this was going to happen.”

It is understood the church will “never” accept a booking from Norwich PSC again.

Ms Walker is under investigation by the Labour Party for comments she made in September about Holocaust Memorial Day.

The controversial figure was removed as vice-chair of the hard-left Momentum group last month after she was suspended by the party for the second time this year over claims of antisemitism.

In a statement released last Friday before the change of meeting venue was announced Marie van der Zyl, Board vice-president, had said: “Jackie Walker was suspended from the Labour Party and removed as vice-chair of Momentum because of her offensive comments.

“It is against all logic that a church would be willing to tolerate her under its roof.

“We call on Chapel Field Methodist Church to reconsider the booking.”

Ms Walker was booked as the guest speaker at the PSC event which was attended by around 100 supporters. As well as local Norwich PSC activists, there were also members of local Muslim group The Neesa Project and several Quakers in attendance.

A local PSC group leader addressed the meeting insisting: “Normally we would have been at the Methodist Church where we have been for the last two years – and had booked this year.

“However the Methodist Church were bombarded by some Jewish people – some Zionists who are connected with the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

“We had been in discussions with the ministers of the church why we should go ahead with our meeting – but on Friday afternoon we were advised our meeting could not go ahead.

“We thought we would going have to call the whole thing off – but we reckoned without our friends the Quakers.”

Ms Walker addressed the crowd and claimed she was a victim of Zionist ‘black ops’.

A Methodist Church spokesman said the booking had been taken “in good faith”, and the church was continuing to investigate.

Norwich PSC has been asked to comment.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive