James speaks at a Manchester rally against antisemitism
James speaks at a Manchester rally against antisemitism

Bury North MP James Frith spoke today at a rally against antisemitism organised by the Jewish community in Greater Manchester.

Watch the speech below

A copy of James’s speech is below.

 

Let me start by saying how honoured I am to be invited to speak here today.

I do so in solidarity with you and to say no to antisemitism.

To repair trust where it has broken.

Standing with all those who believe, like I do, that antisemitism has no place in our politics or society.

It strikes me as well, that all too often the haters hate harder when it comes to women.

So I stand here condemning both antisemitism and misogyny.

I join you as a proud Labour MP from the surprise 2017 intake.

I serve all my community and my party to the very best of my abilities.

I was proud to be elected with help from hundreds of brilliantly diverse activists old and new from across the broad church of the Labour movement to serve a town that is multi-faith with all cultures.

My first year, I’ve put my values into action locally and in Parliament in all of my work.

It is those values that we share that bring me here today.

Of equality, fairness, and social justice.

These values which compel me to stand against antisemitism, racism and discrimination in all its forms, wherever it rears its ugly head.

I am not here to continue hurtful and hateful conversations that others have made.

I hope to add new healing. And help us all move forward.

To ‘go high’ as a First Lady once said.

My record is public.

I called for and support adopting the full IHRA definition and all examples.

I believe in free speech too, in speaking truth to power. And do.

Humbly I say, I have no easy answers, but my own perspective guides me.

I am the son of a Church of England minister. I am not Jewish, but my wife is and her Jewish heritage is one of the many things I love about her.

We’re raising our young family in the traditions of both our faiths. Both our cultures.

This pursuit is not born easily.

So I am not here just to defend Jewish people or call out antisemitism, though I do both.

I want to celebrate Judaism and Jewish people.

To celebrate the contribution you make to our society.

To our country.

To my life.

My mixed heritage family is a picture of the messy, beautiful multi-culturalism of this place. Our city. Our country.

For me, modern love, relationships and family across races, religions and cultures can blur the old lines of religious dogma, intolerance or hate-filled political division.

Rooted from here, even the most steely glare of ugly politics can begin to soften.

This is not party. It is primal and my principled, personal belief.

So be assured of my continued support as an honest friend.

Of my celebration of you and readiness to defend against creeping or outright antisemitism.

In solidarity.

Thank you.

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