Dame Margaret Hodge MP, the veteran Labour MP whose staunch defence of the UK’s Jewish community has made her a household name, has become co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Jews.
In an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the APPG held this afternoon, Dame Margaret, the MP for Barking, was unanimously elected as the new co-chair by all members present. She succeeds Wes Streeting, MP for Ilford North, who has stepped down from the role due to his recent promotion to the Shadow Cabinet. The Board of Deputies, which provides the secretariat to the APPG, had approached Dame Margaret about the possibility of succeeding Mr Streeting after he informed the Board of his intention to stand down as co-chair (while making it clear that he still wishes to be closely involved with the APPG). Dame Margaret’s fellow co-chair will continue to be Christian Wakeford, Conservative MP for Bury South.
During the EGM, Parliamentarians also heard from Marie van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies, as well as Michael Wegier, the organisation’s newly appointed Chief Executive and Amanda Bowman, Vice President and Chair of the Board’s Defence Division. Board of Deputies staff also provided updates on topics including shechita, coroners and the community’s continued response to Covid-19.
Dame Margaret said: “I am delighted to have been elected co-chair of the APPG on British Jews. I look forward to working together with Christian Wakeford MP, my fellow chair, along with other Parliamentarians, to ensure that issues of key importance to British Jews are heard and addressed.”
Marie van der Zyl said: “As the organisation providing the secretariat to the APPG on British Jews, the Board of Deputies is extremely pleased that Dame Margaret has been elected as the group’s co-chair. Dame Margaret is not just a part of the Jewish community, she is also widely admired for defending our community against those hostile to us. We are honoured that she has agreed to serve as co-chair, and look forward to working closely with her in this role.”
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