anti-Semitism UK great 8.
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The first meeting of the cross-governmental working group established to implement the recommendations of the All-Party Inquiry into Anti-Semitism took place on Wednesday in Whitehall.
The working group was formed by the Minister for Local Government and Community Cohesion Phil Woolas following the publication in March of the government's response to the report of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Semitism. The new task force will be responsible for taking forward the 35 recommendations published in the government's response. The minister has promised that this group will report on progress in 12 months.
The working group comprises officials from across the government, including communities and local government; the Foreign and Home Office; the Ministry of Justice, Department for Culture, Media and Sport; Department for Education; Attorney-General's Office; the Crown Prosecution Service and Metropolitan Police.
The community was represented by Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Richard Benson, chief executive of the Community Security Trust (CST) and Jeremy Newmark, chief executive of Jewish Leadership Council.
All welcomed the start of the process and highlighted the unique nature of the working group, that it contains senior government officials from multiple departments as well as senior community professionals.
"This is a government working group," Jon Benjamin said, "but one into which communal representatives have been brought as an integral part. This is a key element signaling both the government's commitment to implementing the action points and to understanding the community's concerns."
Richard Benson commented, "This working group will play a vital role in addressing the disturbing rise in anti-semitism in the UK. We are looking forward to working with the government in order to help ensure the safety and well-being of our community."
The All-Party Inquiry into Anti-Semitism released its report in September 2006. The inquiry was set up in 2005 to investigate the nature and extent of contemporary anti-Semitism.