My main objective has and always will be allowing our member organisations and communal bodies to benefit from the links established with the region’s MPs. I am currently in regular contact with 87 MPs. This includes the newest group of MPs elected following the 2017 General Election. Over 30 MPs from both sides of the House hold Ministerial or Shadow Ministerial portfolios.
The overwhelming majority of these MPs have now been met on numerous occasions, enabling strong and trusted links to have been developed. As an umbrella body, we are rightly extremely proud of the work our members undertake. It is therefore imperative that MPs from across the country and political spectrum have the opportunity to meet with our members when their mutual interests overlap.
I have written previously about the regular Parliamentary Days I arrange on behalf of our members. I have organised several for CST for June and July where they will be able to discuss their critical work protecting our community with MPs from across the region. The meetings have the dual purpose of allowing CST to discuss the work they are doing cross communally with other faith groups. This formed the backdrop of the meeting with Andrew Gwynne MP, the Shadow Secretary of State for Departments and Local Government.
Also at the aforementioned meeting with Andrew was World Jewish Relief. They attended to discuss their programme designed to integrate Syrian refugees. Andrew has stated his intention to visit the project in person.
I have been privileged to have been able to arrange excellent meetings between PaJeS and Angela Rayner MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Mike Kane MP, the Shadow Schools Minister. I am now in the process of arranging for PaJeS to meet with members of the Education Select Committee together with my colleague Miki who has a relationship with the ones in her region in Yorkshire and the North East.
Mental health and social care are obviously issues at the top of many MPs agenda. I have arranged and sat in on numerous meetings between the regions politicians and The Fed in Manchester. In addition, I arranged for Damien Moore MP to meet with Jewish Care in London. Damien also has a strong interest in mental health. In a few weeks, I am looking forward to accompanying Damien to Golders Green to visit JAMI at the Headroom Café and then to Jewish Care’s building which I know he will be impressed by.
Working in partnership with UJIA, we have commenced what we expect will be a long running series of business breakfasts. We firstly hosted the new Manchester City Council Chief Executive Joanne Roney to discuss her vision for the city. Last week, we were delighted to host the Metro Mayor for Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, who discussed his vision for the Northern Powerhouse.
Moving forwards, an ongoing priority remains ensuring all the regions Local Authorities adopt the IHRA definition on antisemitism. We have already made tremendous progress - with very few exceptions, all the major Councils across the region have taken this important step.