he Expose has previously reported that a powerful Westminster lobby group took money from an organisation with close ties to the State of Israel and that around 80% of Tory MPs are members of Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI), the largest funder of foreign trips for British politicians. However, it is not only the Tory government who have taken funds, as Keir Starmer’s cabinet has also been funded by pro-Israel lobbyists according to Declassified.
Two-Fifths of Keir Starmer’s Cabinet Have Been Funded by Pro-Israel Lobbyists
by John McEvoy for Declassified.
As Labour refuses to join calls for a ceasefire in Gaza, Declassified reveals the extent to which the shadow cabinet, including Starmer himself, has been financed by a pro-Israel lobby group and an individual funder.
Some 13 of the 31 members of Labour’s shadow cabinet have received donations from a prominent pro-Israel lobby group or individual funder, it can be revealed.
The list of recipients includes party leader Keir Starmer, his deputy Angela Rayner, shadow foreign secretary David Lammy, and even the former vice-chair of Labour Friends of Palestine, Lisa Nandy, who is now shadow international development minister.
These donations were provided by Labour Friends of Israel (LFI), a pro-Israel lobby group which takes MPs on “fact-finding” missions to the region, and Sir Trevor Chinn, a multi-millionaire business tycoon and long-time pro-Israel lobbyist.
More than half of Starmer’s shadow cabinet are listed as parliamentary supporters or officers of LFI.
The group was established in 1957 to “act as a bridge linking [Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion’s party] Mapai… with the Labour Movement in Great Britain”.
It has since described itself as “a Westminster-based lobby group working within the British Labour Party to promote the State of Israel”.
Labour Friends of Israel
LFI does not disclose its funders but was revealed during an undercover Al Jazeera documentary in 2017 to have close relations with the Israeli embassy in London.
The organisation’s parliamentary officer, for instance, admitted on camera that LFI and the Israeli embassy “work really closely together, but a lot of it is behind the scenes”.
One of LFI’s main activities is to fund Labour MPs to go on “fact-finding” missions to Israel.
“Eight members of Starmer’s shadow cabinet have received money from LFI to travel to Israel”
Eight members of Starmer’s shadow cabinet have received money from LFI to travel to Israel since being elected MPs. This includes David Lammy, shadow health secretary Wes Streeting, shadow business, energy, and industrial strategy secretary Jonathan Reynolds, and shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry.
A further recipient of travel funds is shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves, who is currently a parliamentary vice-chair of LFI.
The value of the trips for the members of the shadow cabinet amounts to over £17,000, with additional expenses in Israel frequently covered by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
LFI has also donated to Wayne David, the shadow foreign minister for the Middle East and North Africa.