Luciana Berger

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Person.png Luciana Berger   Powerbase Sourcewatch Twitter WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Luciana Berger 1.jpg
BornLuciana Clare Berger
Westminster, London, England
Alma materUniversity of Birmingham, Birkbeck, University of London
Children • Amélie
• Zion
SpouseAlistair Goldsmith
PartyLiberal Democrats
Former Labour MP Liverpool Wavertree, former Chair of Labour Friends of Israel. After parliament started working for PR-company Edelman.

Employment.png Shadow Minister for Mental Health

In office
14 September 2015 - 27 June 2016

Employment.png Shadow Minister for Public Health

In office
8 October 2013 - 14 September 2015
Preceded byDiane Abbott

Luciana Berger is the former Labour Member of Parliament for Liverpool Wavertree, having been elected in the May 2010 General Election, and is a former Chair of Labour Friends of Israel. She is the Parliamentary Chair of the Jewish Labour Movement.

On 27 October 2019, longstanding Corbyn supporter and union activist Paula Barker strolled home in the selection of Labour’s candidate to replace defector Luciana Berger as the party’s candidate for Liverpool Wavertree.[1]

In the UK/2019 General Election, now LibDem Luciana Berger was defeated at Finchley and Golders Green by the incumbent Tory MP Mike Freer.[2]

On 1 July 2020, Berger became Managing Director of Advocacy and Public Affairs at PR company Edelman UK, specialising in health, food and drink, climate change and energy policy.[3]

Wavertree to Finchley

In July 2017, following her reelection in the UK/2017 General Election, Luciana Berger was threatened with deselection by her local Constituency Labour Party because of her disloyalty to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.[4]

On 18 February 2019, Berger resigned from the Labour Party to join The Independent Group claiming inter alia that Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite.[5] She joined the Liberal Democrats on 5 September 2019.[6]

On 26 September 2019, the chair of Barnet Liberal Democrats announced that Clareine Enderby had been replaced as Finchley's PPC by Luciana Berger:

"Luciana lives in the constituency, has a track record as a dedicated, hard-working MP and has an unwavering determination to see an end to the Brexit chaos now engulfing us.
"She has the full support of myself, the whole Barnet executive and the former candidate for the constituency Clareine Enderby. We believe she will be a brilliant candidate in Finchley and Golders Green.[7]

Latest tirade against Corbyn

In March 2018, Luciana Berger was taken to task in a Facebook post over her latest tirade against Jeremy Corbyn:

"Luciana Berger, MP for Liverpool Wavertree and former director of Labour Friends of Israel and the London Jewish Forum, read, or paid someone else to read, every comment Jeremy Corbyn had ever made on Twitter, going right back to 2012. Finally, her determination paid off, she struck gold and found ONE SENTENCE with which to try and bring down her own party leader right before the May by-elections – a comment defending a dodgy mural he’d ‘not even looked at properly!’[8]
"Wow. Is that really the WORST THING they could find against him?"[9]

To which, a commentator responded:

"They really are scraping the bottom of the barrel. She is not only a Labour MP she is a "Co-operative" Labour MP - her CLP should take her to task. Her, Ruth Smeeth and Louise Ellman should not be in the British Labour party but really ought to be in the Knesset in the Israeli one."[10]

Imagined connections with Euan and Tony Blair

David McKie writes:

Sunday Telegraph story on April 17, 2005 headed: "Labour should have fought back on immigration, says Euan Blair's girlfriend".[11] This was based on an interview by deputy political editor Melissa Kite with a "strikingly beautiful" 23-year-old postgraduate London University student called Luciana Berger, who recently resigned from the executive of the National Union of Students accusing it of turning a blind eye to anti-semitism.
In the interview, Ms Berger - repeatedly described, Melissa Kite contended, as a future Labour leader; she did not tell us by whom - was strongly critical of Labour's stance on immigration and condemned the party's portrayal of Michael Howard in election posters as Fagin and a flying pig. Though Melissa, unlike the headline writer, stopped short of describing Luciana as Euan's girlfriend, she said they had been "romantically linked". "Rumours of a close friendship with Euan Blair," she mused, "have elevated an admirable stand against anti-semitism from a campus dispute to the stuff of national debate."

McKie notes that he had:

a feeling that if Luciana was not in fact Euan's girlfriend there wouldn't be very much left of the story. And sure enough, the following letter appeared in last Sunday's Telegraph. "You published a story headed 'Labour should have fought back on immigration, says Euan Blair's girlfriend', which described Luciana Berger as my girlfriend. Luciana Berger is not, and has never been, my girlfriend - Euan Blair, University of Bristol". [1]

All-women shortlist

Luciana Berger's selection as prospective parliamentary candidate in early 2010 was controversial within the Liverpool Wavertree CLP. During the selection process, Berger lived for a period at the home of Jane Kennedy, then the sitting MP, whose partner was Labour official Peter Dowling, who ran the selection process. The completed ballot papers were returned to Kennedy's home address.[12] In the run up to the May 2010 General Election, the Labour leadership was accused of "parachuting" Berger in as a candidate.[13] Kennedy insisted that she and Dowling had acted properly.

A further source of controversy was the Labour National Executive Committee's imposition of an all-women shortlist (AWS) on the Wavertree CLP.[14] Berger was selected as Labour candidate for Wavertree by "a margin of around 2-1" according to the Liverpool Echo, over the other female candidates.[15] Berger shared the criticism of AWS after her selection, stating "I would like to have won in an open contest. People have already said I didn't deserve to win."[16]

Student activist

Berger was a member of the National Union of Students executive from which she resigned in 2005, in her words, "because of a continued apathy within the National Union of Students to Jewish student suffering." In the words of a report distributed by NUS: "Anti-semitism is a very light sleeper indeed."[2]

As a member of the Union of Jewish Students, Berger campaigned for Muslim organisations Hizb ut-Tahrir, Al Muhajiroun and the Muslim Public Affairs Committee to be banned from campus.[3]


Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Anti-semitism is cover for a much deeper divide in Britain's Labour partyArticle20 February 2019Jonathan CookParadoxically, the Labour breakaway group may have inadvertently exposed the weakness of its hand. The eight MPs have indicated that they will not run in by-elections, and for good reason: it is highly unlikely they would stand a chance of winning in any of their current constituencies outside the Labour Party.
Document:The Origins of Labour’s Civil WarEssay21 July 2016W. Stephen Gilbert"The greatest difficulty that the anti-Corbyn MPs, the media and the Tories all share is a fact that they simply cannot stomach: Jeremy Corbyn is the most popular politician in Britain."
Document:The Unprincipled – and Potentially Racist – Lib Demsblog post13 September 2019Craig MurrayIf LibDem candidate Clareine Enderby is indeed replaced by Luciana Berger she will be a victim of racism, as the sole grounds on which Ms Berger is being touted as preferable for the 20% Jewish Finchley and Golders Green constituency is her ethnicity.
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  1. ^  Luciana Berger Why I had to resign The Guardian Education, 15 April 2005.
  2. ^  NUS, NUS representative addresses government committee on campus incitement Press Release, undated, but prior to March 2005 when Berger resigned her position.
  3. ^  PAUL PALMER Luciana and an affair that wasn't, Evening Standard (London), Apr 21, 2005.
  4. ^ David McKie 'The spirit of Meilyr lives on' The Guardian Thursday May 5, 2005.