Labor party’s ‘toxic’ era for Jews is over, says UK lawmaker after victory

The Labour party wins majority of seats on the UK.’s most heavily Jewish local council, years after party rocked by widespread antisemitism.

By World Israel News Staff

After a major antisemitism scandal that included whistleblowers being silenced, widespread cover-ups, and accusations that those complaining about anti-Jewish bias were Zionist agents, the Labour party won the UK’s most heavily Jewish local council last week.

Barnet, a suburban borough of North London, is widely seen in the UK as an indicator of overall Jewish voting trends within the country. Fifteen percent of Barnet’s residents are Jewish.

“My first words as leader of our party, when I took over in April 2020, was that we were going to root out antisemitism from our party, not tolerate it any more in our party, change our party,” Labour head Keir Starmer said in a victory speech in Barnet on Friday morning, according to the Independent.

“I said the test of that will be whether voters trust us again in places like Barnet, and they’ve done it.

“That is your hard work, that is the change we’ve collectively brought about in our Labour Party, the trust that we’re building, putting us on the road to No 10 the road to that general election,” he said.

Labour’s victory in winning the majority of the seats on Barnet’s council signals that left-wing Jewish voters are ready to return to the party after Starmer pledged to purge antisemitism, commentators said.

“Lots of Jewish people didn’t feel they could vote Labour last time. Most London boroughs saw the Labour vote go up – in Barnet we went down,” former Labour Barnet election agent Charles Harvey told My London.

The win for Labour in Barnet, Harvey said, meant that the era of the party’s “toxic brand” for Jews was over.

“The difference between the experience of being in Barnet on 2018 and today is hard to put into words,” Labour National Executive Committee member Mark Ferguson wrote on Twitter

“Four years ago, I was shouted at in the street. Yesterday people crossed the road to wish us well. We are earning back People’s trust.”

Labour’s new councillors in Barnet include two Jews: Ella Rose, who is the former Union of Jewish Students President, and Liron Vellerman, policy officer for the Jewish Labour Movement.