The home of Jewish landmarks such as JW3 and St John’s Wood Synagogue, voters in Hampstead and Kilburn have an all-female choice when it comes to the main parties’ candidates. Labour’s Tulip Siddiq had a slender 1,138 majority in 2015.
Here, we meet Claire-Louise Leyland of the Conservatives:
Conservative councillor and leader of the opposition on Camden Council, Claire-Louise Leyland is looking to narrow the gap in Hampstead and Kilburn. Labour held a majority of just 1,158 in 2015 and Leyland says she is ready to step up from local politics.
“I have enjoyed living and working here for the past 13 years. I’ve represented our diverse community and fought hard for the things people care about,” she says.
“I’ve run campaigns against the HS1-2 link, over-development, Labour’s bin chaos, supported parents who wanted to set up free schools, and I fought to keep libraries open. I’m now standing as part of Theresa May’s team, because I know she is the right person to lead our country and I can ensure our voices are heard in Westminster. ”
A Tory government, Leyland says, would continue to support the community on issues of security, shechita and schools. “I’m a great believer in the faith schools that form part of the fabric of our educational landscape. Every parent who wants to send their child to faith school should have the opportunity to, and if that means creating more school places, then I’m a supporter of that. I am really proud there are two Jewish primary schools in Hampstead and Kilburn, which serve the community,” she says.
But she adds that there is always more that can be done. “The Conservative government’s pledge on security for Jewish schools and community centres is welcome, and I would be a tireless advocate for the community to ensure this is reviewed as regularly as necessary, alongside working closely with the Community Security Trust locally and nationally to combat anti-Semitism. We also need a strategy for tackling online anti-Semitism, which the proliferation of social media has made far more prevalent.
“The Conservative government has a strong track record in tackling anti-Semitism wherever it is found and, as MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, I would ensure we continue to do everything possible to combat it, and keep the Jewish community safe.”
Also seeking election in this constituency: Tulip Siddiq, Labour, Kirsty Allan, Liberal Democrats, Green Party: John Mansook; Independent: Hugh Easterbrook; Independent: Rainbow: George Weiss.