Young Labour elects Jewish chair

Pro-Starmer candidate wins top job in Labour's youth wing


Newly elected Young Labour chair, Jack Lubner, campaigning for Damien Egan in the Kingswood By-election with Joel Rosen, Miriam Mirwitch and Rebecca Filer

Jack Lubner has been elected head of Young Labour in a major win for the moderate faction of Labour’s youth section.

The 22-year-old Alyth Synagogue member has been a Labour member since 2016. He signals his election as “another sign of how far the party has changed” since he joined when the party was run by Jeremy Corbyn.

Part of the pro-Starmer slate on the youth ballot, Lubner is the south-of-England organiser for the Jewish Labour Movement.

“I was appalled by where Labour was going under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, but I knew I had Labour values and I always thought it would be better to fight from the inside,” Lubner said.

“I faced a lot of antisemitism and abuse and it was really tough, but now it’s completely different [...] We can actually talk about issues; from youth mental health to housing and getting young people campaigning by establishing a travel fund,” Lubner went on.

“In Keir’s first speech, he said he’d rip antisemitism out [of the party] by its roots and that’s exactly what he did.”

The Young Labour election marks a victory for centrists in the party. Previously, the hard-left faction Momentum held a huge majority over the youth wing, but this week 40 out of 43 Young Labour and Labour Students posts went to centre-left candidates.

A Yachad trustee, a former president of Cambridge JSOC and a madrich (leader) in the RSY-Netzer youth Movement, Lubner’s Judaism could have defined his campaign. But, he asserts, “running as a proud Jewish candidate and not feeling pigeonholed as the Jewish candidate was amazing.”

After October 7, Lubner said, “The campaign had the potential to be very toxic but to my opponent's absolute credit they did not use the issue of the war on the campaign at all.”

Lubner defeated his opponent Alexander Charilaou 2397 to 1135 votes.

As a young activist, Lubner was inspired to keep going through the Corbyn years by former Young Labour chair, Miriam Mirwitch, “When it was incredibly tough to be a Jewish Labour member, she stayed and fought - and gave me the courage to do the same.”

“All of us [Jewish activists] came very close to leaving [under Corbyn], but I looked up to Miriam [...] She came in at the most horrendous time and was one of the only moderate voices on her committee. She had the resolve and courage to stick with it through the hard times. I owe so much to the fact that I could run and be elected now to the fact that she held the position before.”

Some have connected Lubner’s victory to his father Gary’s status as a Labour Party super donor, but moderate Labour figures have widely celebrated his election and a set of results seen as a defeat to the party’s hard-left.

JLM chair Mike Katz said the election was a “testament to both his hard work and campaigning drive, and to how much the party has changed over the past four years.”

Labour’s NEC youth representative, Elsie Greenwood, said, “I genuinely can’t think of anyone better to rebuild Young Labour and make it an unstoppable campaigning force that plays a central role in forming the next Labour government”.

Lubner has pledged to bring in affordable travel to help members campaign across the country and will work to ensure youth mental health services and housing are at the top of the agenda if Labour makes it into government.

“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to get a Labour government. With the changed Labour Party and the state that the government will have left the country, it is more important than ever."

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