Autumn Statement 2023: Jeremy Hunt announces £7m to combat antisemitism in schools and universities

Jeremy Hunt opened his Autumn Statement with a message about the rise in antisemitism in the UK.
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A fund of £7 million has been pledged by the government to combat antisemitism in schools and universities.

Jeremy Hunt opened his Autumn Statement in the House of Commons with a statement on the Hamas attacks on Israel.

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The Chancellor of the Exchequer continued: “I’m deeply concerned about the rise of antisemitism in our country.

“So, I’m announcing up to £7 million over the next three years for organisations like The Holocaust Education Trust to tackle antisemitism in schools and universities.”

HM Treasury's official X account posted: "Antisemitism is a stain on society that must be stamped out.

"Today we're announcing a further £7 million over the next three years for educational programmes.

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"This will ensure more support is in place for schools & universities to understand, recognise & tackle antisemitism."

Labour's shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves, told the Commons: "I do want to welcome the chancellor's announcement today of additional funding to tackle antisemitism and Islamophobia to keep our communities safe, as well as the additional money for the Holocaust Educational Trust. There is no place for hate in our society and I know that across the House we will work together to eliminate it."

Karen Pollock CBE, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “Antisemitism is at an all time high across the United Kingdom. We have seen a shocking rise of anti-Jewish racism on our streets, online, on university campuses, and in our schools. Education is the key in combatting the world’s oldest hatred. The Holocaust Educational Trust has worked with Government for years and we thank them for their trust in us and this continued support.

"Together with partners - the Community Security Trust, the Union of Jewish Students and others - we will make sure that people from all backgrounds understand that antisemitism did not end in 1945 after the Holocaust but changes and evolves. We will continue to educate so that generations will stand up to the anti-Jewish hatred we see today.

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"Thank you to the government for joining us to ensure that 'never again' is never allowed to ring hollow.”

Jeremy Hunt delivers his Autumn Statement.Jeremy Hunt delivers his Autumn Statement.
Jeremy Hunt delivers his Autumn Statement.

Danny Stone MBE, chief executive of the Antisemitism Policy Trust, said: "Antisemitism is on the rise and this recognises and seeks to deliver a message to combat that. This is a very welcome announcement and we look forward to seeing the details in due course."

A spokesperson for Christian Action Against Antisemitism said: "We embrace this news as a significant and encouraging step forward. The past six weeks have served as a profound wake-up call for our nation, shedding light on the deeply rooted issue of antisemitism within our society.

"While this new plan represents a positive stride, we must acknowledge the immense challenge that lies ahead in curbing the proliferation of hate among the younger generation through social media platforms. It is imperative that we continue our efforts to address this issue comprehensively and effectively."

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Economist Richard Murphy, posted on X: “Jeremy Hunt starts with a promise of funding to tackle antisemitism. The amount is £7m over three years.

"This is going to be a political token-gesture #AutumnStatement.”

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