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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer moved quickly last week to remove the Labour whip from former leader Jeremy Corbyn to prevent him from taking his place as a parliamentary Labour MP.

The move came a day after Corbyn was reinstated by a panel of five from the party’s National Executive Committee. Corbyn was suspended from the party last month after he claimed the scale of anti-Semitism in Labour reported in the Equality and Human Rights Commission Report was “exaggerated.”

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The NEC panel of five decided to reverse Corbyn’s suspension before a full meeting of the NEC on which Starmer supporters now enjoy a majority.

Starmer made his decision to bar Corbyn from the Labour parliamentary party after Jewish Labour Movement parliamentary chair MP Dame Margaret Hodge threatened to leave the party.

Former Liverpool Labour councillor Jeremy Wolfson, whose constituency was a hotspot for Labour anti-Semitism, told the Jewish Press, “I welcome Sir Keir Starmer’s decision to withhold the whip from Corbyn. The decision by the NEC to lift Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension was totally appalling and upsetting to the UK Jewish community.”

 

Cases Rise In Broughton Park

While Covid cases in Salford in Greater Manchester are falling generally, the Jewish area of Broughton Park bucked the trend last week, recording Salford’s largest number of cases. A total of 64 people in the area tested positive in seven days – an increase of 73 percent on the previous week.

Salford councillor Rabbi Arnold Saunders confirmed to The Jewish Press that numbers were going up in highly populated Jewish areas, but said he has no knowledge of law-breaking within the community.

He did acknowledge that an illegal wedding took place a few weeks ago in a Salford warehouse – where some of the 200 guests erected screens to prevent them being seen – but noted, “The police said the people involved were from out of town.”

Rabbi Saunders said North Manchester charedi Jewry has suffered one recent Covid death.

“There are quite a few people isolating and some have Covid,” he said. “Virtually none of them are seriously ill. Most people have it very mildly and most are younger people.”

He attributed the rise in the number of cases in the community to the prevalence of large families living in the same home. He said, “I know they are isolating, because they are phoning me, asking me what money they can get from the government,” adding, “I think most people are complying with the rules.”

As the current lockdown comes to an end next week, synagogues will once again be able to open with restrictions.

The opening up of places of worship comes after appeals to the government from the chief rabbi, the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, Manchester Machzikei Hadass, the Gatehead community, and various faith leaders.

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Doreen Wachmann served as a senior reporter and columnist for Britain’s Jewish Telegraph newspaper for more than 20 years.