Jewish megadonor returns to Labour after 'cancer of antisemitism' in party under Corbyn

The car glass repair tycoon credited Keir Starmer for ‘getting rid’ of antisemitism in the party


A Jewish Labour megadonor said he was 'horrified' about the 'cancer of antisemitism' in the party under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership and has pledged to give Keir Starmer enough money to put the party in power “for a long time”.

Former Autoglass boss Gary Lubner, whose grandparents were Jewish refugees, said his youngest son was also “abused, pilloried and attacked” while he was a student activist for the party during Corbyn’s tenure as leader.

With reference to antisemites in the Labour party, he added: “Starmer got rid of them, to his credit. It was a real cancer in the party.”

It comes as Lubner, who stepped down as CEO of Autoglass’s parent company Belron in March, revealed he would give Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer financial help to put the party in power “for a long time”.

Electoral Commission figures to be released on Thursday show that South African-born Lubner gave £500,000 to Labour in the first quarter of 2023 on top of £200,000 in previous donations. 

The businessman said he had given “significantly more” in the second quarter of 2023 and stressed he would continue that financial trajectory to help Labour build up its “capacity and capability” before the general election next year.

Lubner added that he wanted to give away “the vast majority” of his fortune to charitable causes, and that his three children supported the decision.

He added: "My kids are not interested. I don’t think it’s the right thing to pass on that amount of wealth."

As to why he is pledging such an amount, he added in an interview with the Financial Times: “There’s only one bed you can sleep in.”

Lubner, a member of North Western Reform synagogue, said it was the “long list of Tory failures in the last 13 years” that made him committed to bankrolling the opposition, with Brexit being “top of the list”.

The South African-born businessman went on to say that he was “politicised” after being conscripted into the South African police force, witnessing the apartheid he saw first-hand as “brutal."

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