• Report on the APPG inaugural election of officers.

    Around 20 Parliamentarians from across the political spectrum attended the inaugural meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Jews in the autumn. The atmosphere at the meeting, was enthusiastic. Officers for the group were elected and the meeting was addressed by the President, Vivian Wineman.

    Hendon MP Matthew Offord was been elected to chair, Labour’s Ian Mearns, Lib Dem Lord Palmer and Tory Mike Freer were elected as vice chairs. Tottenham MP David Lammy will be treasurer Harrow East MP Bob Blackman will be secretary.

    Around sixty Parliamentarians from across the three main parties and beyond, from both the House of Commons and House of Lords, have pledged their support.

    The purpose of the APPG is to deal with a wide range of issues of concern to the whole Jewish community, including religious freedom, faith-based education, community-led welfare, medical ethics, Jewish culture, social action to name but a few. It will not deal with any issues relating to Israel or anti-Semitism which are well covered by the existing groups operating in those fields.

    Addressing MPs, Peers and community stakeholders at the meeting, Vivian Wineman said:

    “With the formation of the APPG on British Jews, we are making a bold statement about the fact that Jews in this country are part of a dynamic, flourishing and diverse community, confident in our traditions, and using our values to be part of building a better society, not just for Jews, but for everyone in this country. It is for this reason it is so gratifying that the APPG has built such support and momentum from Parliamentarians of all political hues in such a short period of time.”

    David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham, said that:

    “I am excited about the fact that this APPG has been set up. It will allow all of the Jewish community to have their interests better understood in Parliament. I look forward to seeing the APPG enacting really positive changes for the Jewish community.”

    Lord Monroe Palmer, the Lib Dem Peer added:

    “The Jewish community, of which I am a proud member, has a long history of involvement in UK politics. What the APPG is set up to do is to act as a vehicle for honing all the excellent work already being done on behalf of the community.”

    Matthew Offord, the Conservative MP for Hendon, and Chair of the APPG, said:

    “I am very proud to be at the forefront of this initiative and am in no doubt that it will help to present the interests of the Jewish community to Parliamentarians in an efficient and productive manner.”