Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds has told a meeting of Jewish community representatives that he is committed to maintaining the ban on terrorist organisation Hizballah and given his unequivocal support to the international definition of antisemitism
He said: “I would like to thank the Board of Deputies for organising this meeting.“It was an opportunity for me to acknowledge that antisemitism has been a stain on our party, recognise the hurt that has caused and commit to action to addressing this. That is why I was so keen to meet with the leadership of the Jewish community as soon as possible upon starting work as Shadow Home Secretary, to set out how determined I am to do my part in delivering a change of course.
“During the meeting we covered a number of vital areas. I wanted to praise the work of the Community Security Trust and commit to ensuring that their vital work is properly funded – and confirm that I look forward to visiting their projects in person as soon as possible. We know the threat that hatred and division still play in our world, which is why I affirmed my commitment to standing firm against terrorism and made clear my support for the total proscription of Hizballah.
“I also gave my unequivocal support to the IHRA definition, which should have been adopted by the Labour Party in full far sooner.
“I am looking forward to developing this relationship, meeting regularly and working closely together.”
Speaking on behalf of the Jewish delegation, Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said: “We thank the new Shadow Home Secretary, Nick Thomas-Symonds, for meeting us to discuss some key concerns. After four and a half awful years of antisemitism being allowed to run amok in the Labour Party, we stressed the importance of Labour emphasising its support for the adoption of the IHRA definition and the full proscription of Hezbollah and similar groups. We outlined the security challenges faced by our community and the need governments to help provide protection. We hope to work constructlvely with Mr Thomas-Symonds to tackle racism and bigotry in all its guises.”
Participants were Nick Thomas-Symonds, Marie van der Zyl, Board of Deputies Chief Executive Gillian Merron, Board of Deputies Public Affairs Director Phil Rosenberg and Jonny Newton, Head of Government Affairs, CST.