A group of Jewish Labour councillors has slammed the Tory MP for Finchley and Golders Green who said he was better able to represent the Jewish community because he was not Jewish himself.
Mike Freer MP, who is fighting a close battle with 30-year old Jewish Labour challenger Sarah Sackman, last week said: “A non-Jewish MP is able to represent Jewish constituents more forcefully as I can’t be accused of any vested interest.”
Last week Sackman hit back, saying: “I can’t see how my being Jewish would make it harder to represent Jewish constituents.”
This week Freer was attacked in an open letter, published in this week’s Jewish News, by a group of eight councillors from Barnet, Haringey, Ealing and Brent.
In it, they say: “We are concerned by [Freer’s] statement… and don’t follow the logic. Does he also believe that a man would be better to represent women, [or] straight people better to represent the gay community?”
Free defended his remarks at hustings on Thursday, saying: “In the Commons the most ardent arguers against any form of delegitimisation of Israel and anti-Semitism, you’ll find at the very front of the argument are non-Jewish MPs.”
He also paid tribute to John Mann, the non-Jewish chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group Against Anti-Semitism, who has been praised for getting social media companies to review what they can do to tackle race hate online.
- Cllr Rebbeca Challice – London Borough of Barnet
- Cllr Natan Doron – London Borough of Haringey
- Cllr Joe Goldberg – London Borough of Haringey
- Cllr Adam Langleben – London Borough of Barnet
- Cllr Peter Mason – London Borough of Ealing
- Cllr Neil Nerva – London Borough of Brent