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Lib Dems mark key role Liberals played in Balfour Declaration

Mark Regev, the Israeli ambassador to Britain, was guest of honour at the dinner

    Mark Regev (centre) joins senior Liberal Democrats for the Balfour dinner. Lord Palmer is second from the right.
    Mark Regev (centre) joins senior Liberal Democrats for the Balfour dinner. Lord Palmer is second from the right.

    The Liberal Democrats marked the centenary of the Balfour Declaration with a lecture and dinner at which Mark Regev, the Israeli ambassador to Britain, was guest of honour.

    Monday’s event was organised by the Lib Dem Friends of Israel group and the Lloyd George Society. It was held at the National Liberal Club, in Whitehall, in the David Lloyd George room.

    Among the speakers were professors Colin Shindler and Tom Otte, who discussed the contribution the Liberal Party made to bringing about historic document in November 1917.

    Gavin Stollar, chair of Lib Dem Friends of Israel, said: “Without the support and endorsement of the then Liberal Prime Minister, David Lloyd-George, and the first practising Jewish cabinet member - another Liberal, Sir Herbert Samuel - the Declaration would never have happened.

    “This event was a sell-out, with standing room only and Ambassador Regev enthralled the private dinner afterwards which was attended by a cross-section of party luminaries, former leaders, and current parliamentarians."

    Meanwhile Lord Palmer, the Jewish Lib Dem peer, has been appointed as the Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords.

    The Deputy Speaker sits on the Woolsack when the Lord Speaker is not present.

    Lord Palmer told the JC: “I consider this a great honour and will be actively taking up the role very shortly.

    “This new role does not mean that I will be unable to speak on political issues such in support of Israel and matters of concern to the UK Jewish community.”

    He will continue to serve as the party’s spokesman on taxation in the Lords.

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