JLM to stage conference in ‘pivotal year for both Jewish community and Labour’

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JLM to stage conference in ‘pivotal year for both Jewish community and Labour’

In a general election year Labour have committed big names to speak at JLM's One Day Conference on January 14th

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Wes Streeting in conversation with Henry Zeffman at JLM conference

Photo Ian Vogler
Wes Streeting in conversation with Henry Zeffman at JLM conference Photo Ian Vogler

The Jewish Labour Movement’s annual one day conference takes place later this month in what will be a “pivotal year for both the Jewish community and the Labour Party”  Miriam Mirwitch, the organisation’s new national secretary has said.

And in sign, in a general election year, of just how seriously Labour is still taking its efforts to win over support within the community, the party has committed a sizeable chunk of its shadow frontbench into taking part in the all day event on Sunday January 14th.

Wes Streeting, Peter Mandleson, Pat McFadden, Bridget Phillipson and Labour general secretary David Evans, along with party chair Anneliese Dodds and Morgan McSweeney, campaign director, are just some of the senior party figures set to take part in discussions at the conference, along with established Jewish Labour parliamentarians and ex-MPs including Margaret Hodge, Baroness Anderson, Louise Ellman and Luciana Berger.

National media journalists including Jonathan Freedland, Stephen Bush and Gabriel Pogrund will be amongst those hosting sessions at the event, which is due to run from 9.30am until 7pm at a venue in London. 

Baroness Anderson, Mike Katz and Miriam Mirwitch at the JLM Chanukah event (pic Ian Vogler)

Israeli Labor Party Knesset member and Reform Judaism leader Rabbi Gilad Kariv will also be taking part in the conference, which takes place in the aftermath of the horrendous October 7th Hamas massacre, and with the continued angry response to PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposed judicial overhaul, which was this week rejected by Israel’s Supreme Court.

Jewish News understands that other high-profile speakers at the JLM event, which has already seen strong ticket sales, could still be announced.

Other frontbenchers already confirmed included Thangam Debbonaire, Alex-Davies Jones and Feryal Clark, along with the director of the British Future think tank Sunder Katwala.

Oliver Coppard the mayor of South Yorkshire is also speaking.

Panel sessions will also involve discussion about issues such as crime, forthcoming local elections and of course, tackling rising antisemitism.

Bridget Phillipson, shadow education secretary

Ahead of the conference Mirwitch told Jewish News:”2024 will be a pivotal year for both the Jewish community and the Labour Party.

“With a general election on the horizon and conflict ongoing in Israel and Gaza there has never been a more important time to discuss progressive Jewish ideas.

“Since our first One Day Conference in 2017 the event has gone from strength to strength, attracting Gordon Brown and Keir Starmer in previous years.

“We’re expecting this to be our largest in-person conference yet, creating a key focal point for Jewish politics ahead of the general election.”

Rishi Sunak confirmed last month that the next general election would take place in 2024. Labour under Keir Starmer have held a commanding lead in the polls for months.

But Jewish votes could still be crucial in determining the outcome of the next election, and Starmer has made his war on antisemitism a consistent focus of his leadership so far.

More information on JLM conference here: https://www.jewishlabour.uk/one_day_conference_2024


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