Steve McCabe MP is to become the new parliamentary chair of Labour Friends of Israel. Mr McCabe replaces Dame Louise Ellman who stood down as an MP at December’s general election.
Mr McCabe was elected to parliament in 1997 and served as a whip under the last Labour government and as a shadow minister during Ed Miliband’s period as leader of the Labour party.
Mr McCabe is a long-standing parliamentary supporter of LFI and last visited Israel as part of a delegation in 2019.
Mr McCabe, chair of LFI, said:
“I am very pleased to become chair of LFI at this important time and I pay tribute to my two immediate predecessors, Dame Louise Ellman and Joan Ryan, for the manner in which they have led and supported the organisation in extremely difficult circumstances. With a change of leadership, there is an opportunity to reassert Labour’s support for a two-state solution – a policy which requires a balanced, constructive and well-informed debate within the party – and to rid it of the stain of antisemitism. Together with my fellow officers in parliament, I intend for LFI to be at the centre of that debate as well as helping to shape the discussion of how Labour should respond to the important changes occurring within the wider Middle East.”
Jennifer Gerber, director of LFI, said:
“Steve McCabe is a well-respected and highly experienced member of the Parliamentary Labour party and LFI is delighted that he has agreed to become our chair. The new parliament and Labour leadership election offers the chance to turn the page on the virulent anti-Zionism of the Corbyn era and we intend to use it to help restore the party’s former reputation as a strong friend of Israel and advocate of a two-state solution. I would also like to take the opportunity of Steve’s appointment to once again pay tribute to former LFI chairs Dame Louise Ellman and Joan Ryan for the courage and principles they showed over the past five years.”