Labour is ‘keen to work with the com­mu­nity’

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY LEE HARPIN

THE NEW chair of the coun­try’s largest Labour Party youth group has told how her Jewish roots are cen­tral to her po­lit­i­cal val­ues.

Miriam Mir­witch, 23, scored an im­pres­sive elec­toral vic­tory last week­end, eas­ily beat­ing a can­di­date said to be closer to the Cor­bynite wing of the party, to land the po­si­tion at the helm of Lon­don Young Labour.

The group rep­re­sents more than 15,000 Labour mem­bers aged 14 to 27.

But Ms Mir­witch, from Isle­worth, west Lon­don, is keen to play down talk of in-fight­ing within her party.

“Things are get­ting bet­ter,” she says, of the long-stand­ing is­sue of an­tisemitism within the Labour move­ment.

“The fact that I was elected and also that a mo­tion was passed unan­i­mously stat­ing there was ‘no room for an­tisemitism in our move­ment’ shows this.

“Be­cause the elec­tion took place on a Satur- day, we were able to in­tro­duce Shab­bat­friendly votes, in which more re­li­gious mem­ber­swere­able­tos­til­lob­serveShab­bat while mem­bers of staff wrote out their votes.

“The Labour Party is re­ally keen to make it­self more ac­ces­si­ble to the com­mu­nity.”

Ms Mir­witch, whose fam­ily are mem­bers of New West End Syn­a­gogue, cen­tral Lon­don, says Labour needs to be­come “more wel­com­ing for every­one” — a po­si­tion which was at the root of her suc­cess in the elec­tion. Ms Mir­witch, says she re­gards Cle­ment At­tlee, Har­riet Har­man and Tessa Jow­ell among the po­lit­i­cal fig­ureswho­have­mostin­spired her. Guardian colum­nist Owen Jones is to dis­cuss an­ti­semitisman­dtheMid­dleEast with for­mer Labour can­di­date Sarah Sack­man in a de­bate held in mem­ory of a Jewish Labour stal­wart. The in­au­gu­ral Jewish Labour Move­ment Henry Smith Memo­rial Lec­ture takes place on April 2 and will cover top­ics rang­ing from Jeremy Cor­byn to Israel-Pales­tine.

Miriam Mir­witch

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