Chief Rabbi offers ‘heartfelt congratulations’ to new PM Starmer

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Chief Rabbi offers ‘heartfelt congratulations’ to new PM Starmer

Phil Rosenberg, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, also congratulated Starmer on a 'historic' victory

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Chief Rabbi Mirvis and Keir Starmer
Chief Rabbi Mirvis and Keir Starmer

IT was the relationship Keir Starmer said he wanted to restore when he first became leader.

And after Labour secured a historic 412 seat victory at the general election, Chief Rabbi Ephrain Mirvis was quick to issue a statement of praise on Friday morning.

Extending his “heartfelt congratulations” to Starmer, Rabbi Mirvis added:”He takes on the mantle of national leadership at a critical time, when our fragile world is threatened by polarisation, extremism and conflict.

“May he successfully confront these challenges with wisdom and compassion, and may his Government bring the blessings of prosperity, social cohesion and security to all the citizens of our great country.”

Keir Starmer – new UK Prime Minister

Phil Rosenberg, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, congratulated Starmer on a “historic” victory.

“Nobody in the Jewish community will forget the state the Labour Party was in when Keir took it over in 2020, riddled with antisemitism and – frankly – unfit to govern,” he said.

“The fact that the incoming Prime Minister has changed the party so profoundly, transforming Labour’s fortunes from seismic defeat to a landslide victory, is an enormous testament to his personal strength, determination and political courage.”

While there will be areas of debate between the Board and the incoming Labour government, Rosenberg said, he will seek to resolve them through “constructive engagement”.

He continued: “Meanwhile, we would like to take this opportunity to thank Rishi Sunak and friends across the Conservative Party for the many welcome things they have done for our community in government over the last 14 years, whether adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism, funding security for our communal buildings, proscribing Hamas and Hezbollah, standing as a steadfast ally to Israel, or advancing plans for a new Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre beside Parliament.

“We will not forget these kindnesses and will be working to build on them.”

A CST spokesperson said: “We look forward to working with their new government in defence of our community and the shared values on which we depend.

“We wish to thank Rishi Sunak and his outgoing ministers for the support they showed to CST and the Jewish community during their time in office, and especially following the appalling October 7 attack and the subsequent rise in antisemitism in the UK.

“Right now it is more important than ever that a change of government does not affect our continuing fight against antisemitism and its causes.”In this respect, we welcome the commitment that Sir Keir made to continuing the Protective Security Grant for the Jewish community that plays such a vital role in protecting our community.”

A Jewish Leadership Council spokesperson said they looked forward to working with Starmer’s government at this “critical” time.

“We thank Rishi Sunak for his dedicated service as our Prime Minister and also want to share our gratitude for the support of his government, particularly during the challenging nine months for Jewish people since the October 7 attack,” they said.

A spokesperson for Progressive Judaism said they looked forward to working with the new PM  to ensure, “the role of faith in society continues to be valued” and that their voice is heard.

In a statement, the London Jewish Forum extended its “congratulations to all newly elected and re-elected Members of Parliament for the London, Hertfordshire, and Essex regions. We are excited to work alongside them as we continue our mission to advocate for the Jewish community in London.

“We also wish to express our deep gratitude to the outgoing MPs for their dedicated service and support of our community. Your efforts have been greatly appreciated.”

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