Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

i-Engage disengaged

    A highly organised phalanx of 50 backbench Conservatives rallied this week to vote against using i-Engage, an anti-Zionist Muslim organisation, as the secretariat for the all-party parliamentary group on Islamophobia.

    The operation took supporters of i-Engage by surprise, as MPs from all parties voted 60-2 to drop the organisation.

    The decisive vote on Monday was hailed as an important victory for common sense by Nick Boles, a close ally of the Prime Minister, who along with Harlow MP Robert Halfon led the opposition to retaining the services of i-Engage.

    In February, Kris Hopkins, the Conservative chair of the group, and Labour vice-chair Lord Janner, resigned over the decision to use iEngage.

    The new chair, Lib Dem MP Simon Hughes, pledged to investigate iEngage before it was confirmed in the role.

    In June he asked Birmingham University academic Chris Allen to compile a report to be sent to members of the group.

    Mr Allen's report into iEngage, which the Community Security Trust has described as having "a troubling attitude to antisemitism", was circulated on Monday.

    In it Mr Allen concluded: "Since its launch in November 2010 the APPG on Islamophobia has been little more than a sideshow: an unhelpful, unwanted and unnecessary distraction from giving Islamophobia the rightful, timely and necessary attention it so desperately needs.

    "There can be no doubt whatsoever that the credibility of the APPG has been damaged."

    Members who had supported i-Engage in the past either failed to turn up, as was the case with Conservative MP Peter Bottomley, or changed their mind, as happened with Labour's Jack Straw.

    The group agreed that new officers would be elected at the next meeting, to be held in the autumn. It now seems unlikely that Simon Hughes will be chosen to chair the group. Members also decided that no outside group would be chosen to do the work of the secretariat to avoid a repeat of the i-Engage fiasco.

    The Islamophobia group is based on a similar APPG on antisemitism, set up six years ago to carry out an inquiry into anti-Jewish prejudice in Britain.

Uk News

Strictly Orthodox Ukip candidate 'should not run for office'

Marcus Dysch

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Strictly Orthodox Ukip candidate 'should not run for office'
Special Reports

Dublin benefits from overseas aid

Barry Toberman

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Dublin benefits from overseas aid
Uk News

Luciana Berger troll driven by 'fierce antisemitism'

JC Reporter

Monday, December 5, 2016

Luciana Berger troll driven by 'fierce antisemitism'
Uk News

Government drops pledge to aid 3,000 child refugees

Rosa Doherty

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Government drops pledge to aid 3,000 child refugees
Uk News

Limmud: Food for thought at session on 'ethical eating'

By Simon Rocker

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Limmud: Food for thought at session on 'ethical eating'
Uk News

Local MP blocks visit from David Irving's 'secret tour'

Rosa Doherty

Friday, December 2, 2016

Local MP blocks visit from David Irving's 'secret tour'
Uk News

Anti-Israel conference faces delay

Lee Harpin

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Anti-Israel conference faces delay
Uk News

Commission criticised over inquiry into 'antisemitic' charity

Daniel Sugarman

Monday, December 5, 2016

Commission criticised over inquiry into 'antisemitic' charity
Uk News

Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs dies aged 86

JC Reporter

Friday, December 2, 2016

Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs dies aged 86