The National Federation of Cypriots in the UK would like to express it condolences to the family and friends of Sir Gerald Kaufman, a long-standing Labour politician and friend of Cyprus.

Sir Gerald Kaufman was the son of Polish-Jewish refugees who fled anti-Jewish pogroms before the First World War. He was born in Leeds on 21 June 1930 and died on 26 February 2017, aged 86. Kaufman served as a Member of Parliament for Manchester Ardwick from 1970-1983 and for Manchester Gorton from 1983 until his death.

During Kaufman’s time as Shadow Foreign Secretary (1987-1992) that he established himself as one of the most influential supporters of Cyprus in British politics. Kaufman, along with members of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, ensured that the 1992 Labour Party manifesto stated that, “the Labour Party will work to bring about the peaceful reunification of Cyprus, on the federal basis advocated by the sovereign government of Cyprus.” This was the first time that a Party manifesto expressed such strong support for Cyprus. The same manifesto also declared that the Labour Party would “advocate speedy admission for Cyprus [to the European Community].”

As an MP, Kaufman served as a government minister in the 1970s and as a prominent Shadow Cabinet member when Labour were the opposition to Thatcher’s government. He famously described Labour’s 1983 manifesto as “the longest suicide note in history” and never held back from fiercely criticising the Conservative Party as well as fellow members of the Labour Party. In his later career, Kaufman was the chairman of the highly important Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee and was knighted in 2004 for his services to Parliament.

“The removal of each and every Turkish soldier, the return of refugees, and the repatriation of the Turkish settlers.” – Sir Gerald Kaufman as Shadow Foreign Secretary.