The Jewish Labour Movement has held a private briefing session with Labour MPs in the latest sign of improved relations between the organisation and the party since Jeremy Corbyn’s exit as leader.
The JC understands that around 35 members of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) attended Wednesday’s virtual meeting which involved discussion on what to expect over the imminent publication of the EHRC report into the party’s handling of antisemitism.
Newcastle upon Tyne North MP Catherine McKinnell hosted the event, which included speeches from Dame Margaret Hodge and JLM national secretary Peter Mason.
Among those to also attend the session were former Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities Dawn Butler and Sam Tarry, the Ilford South MP who is now a member of Labour’s Shadow Treasury team.
A Labour source told the JC: “Six months ago, a meeting between JLM and the PLP just wouldn’t have happened.
“It was good to see so many of our MPs managed to attend Wednesday’s meeting on what was a very busy day for most of them.
“Margaret (Hodge) shocked quite a few who attended when she read out some of the abuse she had received, much of it from Labour members, at the height of the antisemitism crisis under Jeremy (Corbyn).
“There was discussion about the need to tackle all racism within the party, without divisive talk about hierarchies of racism.
“There was a great deal of understanding about how the recommendations from the EHRC must be implemented as a bare minimum. It was good to see people from different wings of the party seemingly unified on how to move forwards from the mess of the past few years.”
In May, JLM held its first formal meeting with a Labour leader since 2014, when Sir Keir Starmer joined the group at a virtual session. It was also attended by Dame Louise Ellman, who quit the party last year in protest at anti-Jewish racism.
JLM, which was formed in 1903, is currently marking its 100th year of affiliation to the Labour Party and has experienced significant growth over the last few years to a movement of 4,000 Jewish Labour activists.
Centenary celebrations have been deferred until 2021 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
A JLM spokesperson refused to comment on Wednesday’s meeting with the PLP.