Keir Starmer received £50K from pro-Israel lobbyist

Keir Starmer Editorial credit: Dominic Dudley /

New Labour Party leader Keir Starmer received a £50,000 donation from a pro-Israel lobbyist, parliamentary data shows

The Register of Members’ Interests reveals that Starmer received a £50,000 donation from Trevor Chinn, a member of the executive committee of the Israel lobby group the British Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM).

From 1973 to 1993 Chinn was Chairman of the Joint Israel Appeal (now United Jewish Israel Appeal), the major fund-raising organisation for Israel.

Chinn, who is also a Vice President of the Jewish Leadership Council, has enjoyed a long and lucrative business career and was awarded a knighthood in 1990 for his charitable activities.

He has also previously donated to former Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) chair Joan Ryan and former Labour deputy leader Tom Watson, as well as Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy on numerous occasions.

Starmer consistently refused to name the full list of those who donated to his ultimately successful campaign, despite being challenged by fellow candidates to do so.

He stated that he was following “Labour Party process” and that: I’ve got a compliance team in place who are checking every donation is in accordance with the rules. Once they’ve done that they pass it to the Parliamentary authorities for them to publish it. So two lots have gone up, another lot is with the Parliamentary authorities as of today, I’m following the rules.”

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During the Labour leadership campaign Starmer said: “I support Zionism without qualification.”

And in his victory speech a few weeks ago he said: “Anti-Semitism has been a stain on our party.”

“I will tear out this poison by its roots,” Starmer said, “and judge success by the return of our Jewish members and those who felt that they could no longer support us.”

The very same day, Starmer wrote to the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, an Israel lobby group which had been vehemently anti-Corbyn, repeating his apology.

He also reiterated an earlier commitment to a list of demands by the Board of Deputies which included the stipulation that training on antisemitism in the party be run only by the Jewish Labour Movement.

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