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MPs learn about contemporary antisemitism during tour of Jewish community groups

The rise of antisemitism in Britain was branded "alarming" MPs after a visit to Jewish community groups in London

    The rise of antisemitism in Britain was branded "alarming" by Sarah Jones MP after a visit to Jewish community groups in London.

    Ms Jones, Labour MP for Croydon Central, took part in the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism (APPG) half-day tour on Thursday to learn about Jewish concerns over antisemitism and how to create effective policies to combat the issue.

    The tour also included Dr Lisa Cameron, SNP MP for East Kilbride; Alex Sobel, Labour MP for Leeds North West; Tulip Siddiq, Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, and Yvette Cooper, Labour MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford, were joined by Sir Eric Pickles, former Conservative Friends of Israel chair.

    Ms Jones said: “The rise of hate crime and antisemitism across the UK is alarming. Listening to young children talk about the antisemitism they have encountered was hard for us to hear.

    “As MPs we have to act and this day has helped me understand the enormity of what we are dealing with.”

    The group heard from speakers from the Community Security Trust (CST) about the group’s security operations and the challenges of tackling modern-day antisemitism.

    They also visited North West London Jewish Day School to hear about young people’s experiences of being Jewish in Britain.

    Following the school visit, MPs met with the Union of Jewish Students to hear about antisemitism on campus. A number of issues were considered including the effect of Israel Apartheid Week on Jewish students.

    The MPs were also addressed by Dr Joe Mulhall from Hope Not Hate about antisemitism online; Roisin Wood, director of Kick it Out, over antisemitism in football, and Caroline Hoare from the Anne Frank Trust about its work in prisons.

    The APPG against Antisemitism was commissioned in 2005 and is chaired by John Mann MP. It runs events for politicians in parliament and across the UK including educational visits and talks.

    Danny Stone MBE, director of the Antisemitism Policy Trust, said: "We were delighted with the visit and hope to run a number of similar programmes in the future.

    “Demand from parliamentarians was high and a number, from various parties, indicated that they would like to take part, diaries allowing.

    “I hope that through these kind of interactive engagements, parliamentarians can begin to understand the impact of antisemitism in Britain and why it is critical that they use their public platform to speak out."

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