Brexit challenger Gina Miller at Yachad: Corbyn’s Labour ‘not a functioning Opposition’
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Brexit challenger Gina Miller at Yachad: Corbyn’s Labour ‘not a functioning Opposition’

The businesswoman and campaigner who took the government to court over Brexit spoke at the Israel group's annual dinner

Stephen is the Jewish News' Foreign Editor

Gina Miller (left) with Hannah Weisfeld of Yachad (right)


Picture by Michael Crabtree
Gina Miller (left) with Hannah Weisfeld of Yachad (right) Picture by Michael Crabtree

Brexit legal challenger Gina Miller has slammed Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party as “not a functioning Opposition” but ruled out her own entry into politics.

Miller, a businesswoman and campaigner who famously took the Government to court over its right to exit the European Union without asking Parliament, was speaking as a last-minute stand-in for hero MP Tobias Ellwood.

Addressing an audience at the annual dinner of Yachad, a British Jewish organisation that opposes the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, she said she “completely understood” Middle East Minister Tobias Ellwood’s decision to cancel his keynote speech, days after the terrorist attack in London during which he sought to save the life of a policeman who had been stabbed.

“Having been thrust into a limelight you never anticipated, I felt I really had to come up,” she said, of her last minute decision to address an audience expecting Ellwood.

Miller said she challenged the Government in the courts because “nobody else was going to do it… I ask questions when I see something that seems fundamentally wrong and if no-one gives me an answer I carry on asking”.

Miller was represented in her Brexit legal challenge by top barrister and Yachad supporter Lord Pannick, who has previously defended the organisation’s work.

Asked about her decision to engage City law firm Mishcon de Reya and take on the Government, she said: “It just seemed such a basic question. While the leaders were banging on the table about parliamentary sovereignty, at the very same time the Government was about to bypass our parliament, so it just seemed the most obvious first-year Law question to ask.”

Gina Miller speaking at the Yachad dinner Picture by Michael Crabtree
Gina Miller speaking at the Yachad dinner
Picture by Michael Crabtree

She said she was “naïve” and “never thought it would just be me, then when Lord Leveson said Ms Miller will be the lead claimant I was shocked. I thought OK, I’ve been passed this baton, I will carry it, and lots of other people will join me. But every time I looked round there was nobody there”.

Describing how she “knew we were going to win,” she said she thought the legal challenge – begun in June – would be over by September. “I assumed the Government would do what it needed to do. I never anticipated it going past October.”

On the media publicity she received, Miller said “every part of my life has been ransacked,” adding that people had attacked her and her family “for just asking a very simple, legitimate question… What does it say about our society? What does it say about boundaries being crossed?”

Miller appeared to support Yachad’s stance of criticising the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories by saying: “We all need to stand up. We all need to use the things we own, which are our voice, our conscience and our actions because we are what we do, which brings us back to where we are tonight, and that’s why I’m going to carry on doing what I do.”

On her own plans, Miller said: “I’m definitely not going in to politics… But unfortunately for democracy to work we need an Opposition, and we haven’t got a very functioning one at the moment, so I don’t have any intentions of disappearing.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments