Jewish leaders congratulate Sir Keir Starmer on ‘historic’ victory

Board of Deputies President Phil Rosenburg praised the Labour leader for ‘transforming’ his party


Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said Sir Keir was to become prime minister at a time of 'polarisation, extremism and conflict' (Photo: Chief Rabbi's Office)

Jewish community leaders have congratulated Sir Keir Starmer on winning the general election while thanking the outgoing Conservative government for supporting the community following the October 7 attack.

Labour swept to power on Thursday night as they won over 400 seats, while the Tories slumped to their worst-ever result in modern history.

Phil Rosenberg, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, congratulated Sir Keir on a “historic” victory.

“Nobody in the Jewish community will forget the state the Labour Party was in when Keir took it over in 2020, riddled with antisemitism and – frankly – unfit to govern,” he said.

“The fact that the incoming Prime Minister has changed the party so profoundly, transforming Labour’s fortunes from seismic defeat to a landslide victory, is an enormous testament to his personal strength, determination and political courage.”

While there will be disagreements between the Board and the incoming Labour government, Rosenberg said, he will seek to resolve them through “constructive engagement”.

He continued: “Meanwhile, we would like to take this opportunity to thank Rishi Sunak and friends across the Conservative Party for the many welcome things they have done for our community in government over the last 14 years, whether adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism, funding security for our communal buildings, proscribing Hamas and Hezbollah, standing as a steadfast ally to Israel, or advancing plans for a new Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre beside Parliament.

"We will not forget these kindnesses and will be working to build on them.”

A key task of the new government, he added, will be to stand up to “the forces of bigotry” in society.

The Chief Rabbi said he would like to extend his “heartfelt congratulations” to Sir Keir.

"He takes on the mantle of national leadership at a critical time, when our fragile world is threatened by polarisation, extremism and conflict,” Sir Ephraim continued.

"May he successfully confront these challenges with wisdom and compassion, and may his Government bring the blessings of prosperity, social cohesion and security to all the citizens of our great country.”

A CST spokesperson said: “We look forward to working with their new government in defence of our community and the shared values on which we depend.

“We wish to thank Rishi Sunak and his outgoing ministers for the support they showed to CST and the Jewish community during their time in office, and especially following the appalling October 7 attack and the subsequent rise in antisemitism in the UK.

“Right now it is more important than ever that a change of government does not affect our continuing fight against antisemitism and its causes.

"In this respect, we welcome the commitment that Sir Keir made to continuing the Protective Security Grant for the Jewish community that plays such a vital role in protecting our community.”

A spokesperson for the London Jewish Forum said they congratulated all newly elected and re-elected MPs for the London, Hertfordshire, and Essex regions.

"We are excited to work alongside them as we continue our mission to advocate for the Jewish community in London,” they said.

“Our goal remains steadfast: to ensure London is a vibrant, inclusive, and cohesive community for all. We believe that by working together, we can create an environment where Jewish Londoners, and indeed all Londoners, can thrive."

A Jewish Leadership Council spokesperson said they looked forward to working with Sir Keir’s government at this “critical” time.

"We thank Rishi Sunak for his dedicated service as our Prime Minister and also want to share our gratitude for the support of his government, particularly during the challenging nine months for Jewish people since the October 7 attack,” they said.

A spokesperson for Progressive Judaism said they look forward to working Sir Keir to ensure, “the role of faith in society continues to be valued” and that their voice is heard. 

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