Conservative Party Chairman, Rt. Hon. Sir Patrick McLoughlin MP, said in an interview with Jewish News this week that he wants Britain to work with “entrepreneurial countries and Israel is certainly a great entrepreneurial base”.
The Party Chairman asserted that there is “no question” that Theresa May’s Government will be as supportive of the community and Israel as that of David Cameron.
He said that he hoped his new role will enable him to visit for the first time “in the not too distant future”.
Reaffirming the Government’s strong stance against boycotts of Israel, he said that new Communities Secretary Sajid Javid would be “watching what local authorities are doing on this” following this year’s announcement of legislative measures to tackle the issue.
In reference to ongoing calls for change in how the overseas aid budget is distributed to the Palestinian Authority, Mr McLoughlin stressed that he is “very proud” of the government’s 0.7% commitment to overseas aid, but added that International Development Secretary “Priti Patel would be horrified if [she] saw money going into aid which was allowing other money to be attracted to sources which are destabilising to the Middle East and to the Israeli people”. He added: “That would be something that would fill me with worry and shouldn’t be allowed to happen. Where allegations are made we need to follow it through but we should not move away from the fact we’ve reached 0.7% and the good that’s doing”.
He praised the work of the Holocaust Education Trust, stating: “I’ve come across work of HET in my constituency with school trips going to Auschwitz. My own son’s been on a visit and it was very moving indeed. We must never forget it. You can’t forget such a horrendous crime.” Furthermore, he expressed his dismay at the anti-Semitism infecting the Labour Party declaring that he failed “understand how a party which to a degree has a rich history has allowed anti-Semitism to become an issue in its party. It’s just unbelievable. It needs to sort this out – it’s just not acceptable that the principle opposition party has this tag associated with it”.
The Party Chairman ended the interview by suggesting that the Conservative Party should be the natural home of British Jews regardless of the situation in other political parties: “Everything the Tory party has done for me is what we try to do across the whole country and that is to give people opportunity”.
Click here to read the full Jewish News interview.