UK Jewish News Online Reports: Hendon MP Matthew Offord has been elected to chair a new parliamentary group to lobby for British Jewry.
The Conservative politician, who had been driving forward the initiative, was among six officers elected this afternoon at the inaugural meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Jews, attended by nearly 20 MPs and peers.
Labour’s Ian Mearns, Lib Dem Lord Palmer and Tory Mike Freer were selected as vice chairs. Tottenham MP David Lammy will be treasurer Harrow East MP Bob Blackman will be secretary.
The group will offer regular briefings on issues such as shechitah and circumcision, extremism, education and welfare, but the Board of Deputies – which will form the group’s secretariat – has moved to dispel fears it will overlap on the work of existing groups on Israel and anti-Semitism.
Board President Vivian Wineman described the APPG as a “significant step for the community”, saying existing bodies “do great work but there’s more to being Jewish than answering detractors”.