Sadiq Khan said he wont give up lobbying the government to fully proscribe Hezbollah, amid concerns flags of the terror group could again fly on the streets of London in eight weeks.
Speaking to Jewish News after the Yom HaShoah event on Sunday, the London Mayor criticised Home Secretary Amber Rudd for not banning the terror group, after he wrote a letter urging to do so in July 2017 after flags – featuring a gun – flew and were worn on clothing at the annual al Quds Day Parade. The next such event is due to take place on 10 June.
He said: “I’ve written to the home secretary asking her to ban the march using the powers that she has. Unfortunately she’s not agreed to do so. I’ll carry on lobbying the government.”
Khan added, that the police will “work with the Jewish community to make sure there’s no alarm, distress or concern caused to them”, adding that it’s “unacceptable that through the heart of our city, we have got people marching who’s flags and slogans cause distress to Londoners of Jewish faith.”
Figures from across the political spectrum have called for the political wing as well as the military wing, with even Hezbollah’s leaders acknowledging the two are one in the same. Last year, notes were pinned to flags, pronouncing support for the ‘political wing’ of the movement, which is not banned.
Meanwhile, the mayor said he hoped his party’s problems with anti-Semitism would not influence how Jewish voters cast their ballot on May 3 at the local elections.
Having campaigned in Barnet this weekend, he said: “What I’d say to Labour voters in London of Jewish faith – is to look at the candidates we have standing. Look at the manifestos we have across London”, adding that it “breaks my heart, when Londoners of Jewish faith don’t feel that the Labour Party is for them.
“My message to them, is that the Labour Party has got a zero tolerance attitude towards anti-Semitism.” He welcomed “progress being made” by Jeremy Corbyn on tackling the issue.
Khan said Corbyn had given the new General Secretary of the party Jennie Formby a task “to address the very serious complaints made by Labour party members of anti-Semitism”, insisting: “We’ve got to root it out.”