Tory MP Jenrick claims BDS has been ‘beaten back’ in UK
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Tory MP Jenrick claims BDS has been ‘beaten back’ in UK

Former minister Robert Jenrick tells panel event that he is 'confident' legislation designed to outlaw the anti-Israel movement will be introduced in the Queens Speech

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Conservative MP Robert Jenrick has claimed the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement “is being beaten back” and that “no political party” now supports it in the UK.

In remarks made during a panel discussion on relations between the UK, Israel and Australia, the former Communities Secretary also said he was “confident” legislation would be introduced in the Queens Speech next spring proposing the outlawing of BDS.

Speaking at an event titled ‘Why Do So Many People Hate Jews?’ – moderated by former Labour MP Joan Ryan and Australian journalist Alan Howe – Jenrick said: “I do think BDS is being beaten back here… there is no political party in the UK that would support BDS today, and it’s becoming, I think, much more of a fringe activity. ”

He then suggested the government would attempt to honour a pledge made during the 2019 general election manifesto on BDS.

“What we want to do is pass a piece of legislation here, and I’m confident that it will be in the next legislative programme – Queen’s Speech as we call it – in the spring of next year, which will outlaw BDS in the UK,” the former minister added.

Other speakers at the event, put on by Australian Jewish philanthropist Albert Dadon as part of his Leadership Dialogue 2021 series, also included former Australian Labor Party MPs Mary Easson and Michael Danby, economist Henry Ergas (AO), and Israeli MK Avi Dichter.

Jenrick had responded to a question from Howe regarding the possibility of using anti-discrimination laws to outlaw the BDS movement in the UK.

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