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KEIR STARMER promised Jewish groups today that a report on outstanding investigations into alleged anti-semitism in the Labour Party will be “on my desk at the end of the week.”
In a video conference with the groups and Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner, the new leader also discussed his “ambition to roll out training of all Labour Party staff as soon as practically possible.”
He said he wants to set up a “complaints process co-operating fully with the Equality & Human Rights Commission’s inquiry into alleged anti-semitism in the party.”
The meeting included Board of Deputies of British Jews president Marie van der Zyl, Jewish Leadership Council chairman Jonathan Goldstein, Community Security Trust chairman Gerald Ronson and Jewish Labour Movement chairman Mike Katz.
The groups praised him for his pledges, saying he has “already achieved in four days [of leadership] more than his predecessor in four years,” referring to Jeremy Corbyn.
Speaking to the Star, a spokeswoman for the left-wing Jewish Voice for Labour said that the group understands the pressure on Mr Starmer to engage with the right-wing groups, “even though they have shown extreme hostility to the Labour Party in recent times.”
She said: “We trust that, in the interests of the party unity to which he has committed himself, he will extend the same courtesy to Jews like us who are active and enthusiastic party members but take a different political view.
“We also look forward to hearing that he is making similar approaches to the Muslim Council of Britain and other groups representing a range of opinions among Muslims, people of colour, refugee, migrant and Roma groups.
“We remember that Jeremy Corbyn’s first move as leader in 2015 was to speak at a huge Refugees Welcome march in central London. We trust that Keir Starmer will, similarly, lead the party in firm opposition to all forms of racism and discrimination.”
Jewish Socialists’ Group spokesman David Rosenberg said that Mr Starmer has put himself in the “embarrassing” situation of promising to tackle anti-semitism — but then appointing Rachel Reeves in his shadow cabinet the next day.
He said: “Rachel Reeves disgraced herself late last year by celebrating Nancy Astor, the first woman MP to take her seat in Westminster.
“[She was] waxing lyrical about her and completely ignoring her very unrestrained anti-semitism and pro-nazism, as if that didn’t matter at all.”
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