She takes over from Danny Shek, who has left to become Israel's ambassador in France. ‘I first became a friend of Israel 17 years ago as a student leader, said Fitzsimons, a former NUS president.
‘Israel is at the forefront of a struggle that has a direct impact on us here in the UK. Its advocates are on [the] back foot and my appointment is a signal that this is going to change.'
Fitzsimons lost her Rochdale seat to the Lib Dems in the 2005 general election.