12 June 2020: The LFY executive committee had a constructive meeting with Mr Wayne David MP, the shadow minister for the Middle East and North Africa. The meeting which was chaired by Gill Furniss MP, Chair of LFY, discussed several issues in relation to the Yemeni conflict and the humanitarian crisis, as well as Labour policy towards Yemen and its role in bringing peace.
Mr Wayne David expressed his delight in being introduced to the group and stated that the humanitarian situation in Yemen is undoubtedly catastrophic and more pressure should be put on the government and the international community to alleviate the suffering of the people in Yemen. He stressed that a military solution to the conflict in Yemen will not be feasible, and that there will come a time when all warring parties must make concessions and reach reconciliation.
Mr David admitted that a decline in the level of interest in Yemen by the British government has been noticeable of late and that the Labour Party should play a leading role in putting pressure on the Foreign Office to make a tangible shift in UK policy for more robust engagement with the Yemeni issue.
In ending Mr David expressed his wish to continue working with LFY, and to take note of LFY recommendations in considering matters related to Yemen going forward.
Gill Furniss MP expressed LFY’s commitment to work with Mr Wayne David and others through the shadow Foreign Office, applying more pressure on Dominic Raab and other government officials, as well as the UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths to work towards an immediate ceasefire and a long lasting peace.
24 April 2020: The LFY executive committee held its second virtual meeting. The meeting was co-chaired by Stephen Twigg (former Chair) and Gill Furniss MP (newly appointed Chair). The meeting discussed several agenda items and concluded the following actions:
1. Approving LFY’s letter to Dominic Raab (the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) and to Lisa Nandy (the Shadow Foreign Secretary) regarding the obligation of the UK government and the International Community to act quickly to help and support Yemen to cope with Covid-19 pandemic.
2. To write a letter to the UK government and the International Community to provide urgent help in response to the catastrophic outcomes of the recent flooding in Aden.
3. LFY to take a lead in community initiatives aiming to thank and support the NHS staff for their heroism and sacrifices amid the Covid-19 crisis.
17 April 2020: The LFY executive committee held its first virtual meeting, chaired by Stephen Twigg. The meeting discussed several agenda items and concluded the following actions:1. The appointment of Gill Furniss MP as a new Chair of LFY.
2. Sending a letter to the UK government regarding the urgent help Yemen needs to confront the imminent and devastating Coronavirus outbreak.
3. Distributing responsibilities for carrying out LFY’s media and setting up new guidelines.
15 February 2020: The LFY-Liverpool branch had their first meeting in which members affirmed their commitment to working together under the Labour party’s vision and values to achieve the aims set by the national LFY. The group will also be setting out their local aims and objectives at a future meeting. The group discussed local community needs, issues and their ambition to work to promote awareness of the Yemeni community issue at local and national level.
The branch will also support the activities of the local Labour Party. In addition, it was agreed that the following seven will be the coordinators for the LFY-Liverpool branch: Mohamed Alfakeeh, Showqi Ali, Amina Atiq, Najib Al-Hakimi, Kamal Mashjari, Edres Musaid and Shadha Nasser.
11 January 2020: The executive committee held a constructive meeting in Liverpool with Stephen Twigg (Chair of LFY). In the meeting a review of 2019 achievements and future plans for 2020 were discussed.
8 December 2019: Labour Friends of Yemen (LFY) held a lively election campaign event in Liverpool yesterday with active participation and engagement from the Yemeni community and local communities in the city.
The event hosted Labour Party candidates Kim Johnson (for Riverside) and Paula Barker (for Wavertree), as well as Theresa Griffin (Member of European Parliament) and Councillors Steve Munby, Abdul Basit Qadir and Joanne Anderson. Speakers highlighted various aspects of Labour Party manifesto and how it could positively impact the life of local communities as well as the whole country. They also expressed their solidarity with Yemen during the current crisis, and committed their support for all peace missions and humanitarian efforts that could alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people.
The participants praised the efforts of Stephen Twigg MP (Chair of LFY) in establishing the group, and his commitments towards Yemen for many years. The event concluded with the nomination of seven coordinators for the LFY-Liverpool branch:
1. Alfakeeh, Mohamed
2. Ali, Haifa
3. Atiq, Amina
4. Al-Hakimi, Najib
5. Mashjari, Kamal
6. Musaid, Edres
7. Nasser, Shadha
7 December 2019: Labour Friends of Yemen (LFY) held a lively election campaign event in Sheffield yesterday. A large community presence and strong participation from Yemeni and Muslim communities in the city. The event hosted the Labour Party candidate Gill Furniss and Councillors Abdul Khayum and Talib Hussian.
In her contribution, Gill Furniss stressed the importance of voting Labour in the upcoming election and urged all members of the British-Yemeni community to engage fully with the election campaign and thereafter. She assured the audience that she will continue supporting all efforts that will bring peace to Yemen and help alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people.
The event also saw the launch of the LFY-Sheffield branch with the aim to facilitate a direct link with Labour MPs in Sheffield.
30 November 2019: A second successful meeting was hosted by Labour Friends of Yemen West Midlands (LFY-WM) with Labour candidate Khalid Mahmood (for Birmingham, Perry Barr), West Midlands Metro Mayor candidate Salma Yaqoob and Councillor Waseem Zaffar from Lozells Ward.
The Labour Party’s manifesto for the election was highlighted, particularly issues of special concern to the British Yemeni and Muslim communities in the UK, as well as the means of tackling them. This was followed by a session of constructive discussions and a Q & A with a large audience from various Muslim communities. LFY-WM coordinators explained the role of Yemenis in the UK and in supporting Labour for many years.
Labour candidates, who were briefed on the suffering of the Yemeni people due to the war and the Houthi coup, expressed their support to work alongside us to stop the war in Yemen and work with other friends of Yemen to reach a sustainable peace. They praised the role of British Yemeni and Muslim communities in the UK in engaging with and supporting Labour. They indicated the importance of the participation of the British-Yemeni community in the coming election, calling on all of us to encourage our family members to go and vote on the 12th of December.
23 November 2019: A successful meeting was held in Birmingham yesterday with Labour candidate for Hall Green constituency Tahir Ali, and councillor Nicky Brennan. Candidate Ali and Councillor Brennan spoke about the importance of campaigning for the upcoming election on 12th December and the mechanisms of achieving the Labour party manifesto.
The LFY team informed Candidate Ali and Councillor Brennan about the dire situation in Yemen and the suffering of civilians from the war and the Houthi coup. They highlighted the necessity to cease the supply of arms to all the parties in the conflict to stop the war and further suffering.
The coordinators of the LFY West Midlands explained the historic significance of the British Yemenis support for the Labour Party, and thanked the attendees who came despite the short notice, reflecting the significant level of political astuteness across the Yemeni community.
Mr Ali praised the Yemeni community at large, for their engagement and long-standing support for The Labour Party, noting that Labour will be paying more attention to British Yemenis and their concerns going forward. He also congratulated the establishment of LFY West Midlands, and emphasised his support to achieve its objectives.
It is worth mentioning that the Labour Party is highly dependent on the participation of the Yemeni community in the upcoming election, and urges all Yemenis to encourage their family members to register to vote.
The branch will also support the activities of the Labour Party, especially the current election campaign, and support the party's candidates in the relevant constituencies.
The West Midlands branch coordinators:
- Al-Shameri, Ma'moon
- Al-Shameri, Yousef
- Hussain, Khalid
- Mutahar, Mahdi
The team had also a chance to speak to Jeremy Corbyn and meet other Labour MPs and activists.
6 September 2019: The LFY executive committee held a meeting
in Liverpool with Stephen Twigg MP
(Chair). The meeting reviewed the LFY action plan and future activities. A
number of practical steps were discussed in particular the participation of LFY
members in the upcoming Party Annual Conference in Brighton.
22 May 2019: LFY had a constructive meeting with Yemen information minister Moammar Al-Eryani, in which concerns and matters related to the conflict in Yemen, the humanitarian situation and prospects of peace were exchanged. The meeting attended by Stephen Twigg MP (Chair), Graham Jones (Hon. President), Catherine West MP, Richard Burden MP, Yemeni Ambassador to the UK, and members of the admin team as well as other Yemeni government’s delegates.
West MP, Taher Qassim and Noel Brehony.
A number of practical steps were agreed including the formation of the group’s advisory board, the formation of the city subgroups and the group’s participation in the Labour Party’s Annual Conference 2019.
A number of practical steps were agreed to consolidate LFY’s status and in coordinating and managing LFY’s plans and activities for 2019.
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9 March 2019:
First LFY Team meeting with Stephen Twigg, Liverpool,