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 Tulip Siddiq of the Labour Party:
Tulip Siddiq slipped into the big shoes left by Labour stalwart Glenda Jackson at the last election and is looking to hold the marginal seat.
She has many happy memories from her first term as MP, “from singing with residents at Spring Grove care home for Mitzvah Day, to my lively question and answer sessions at Shomrei Hadath and Hampstead Synagogue”. Her highlight so far was interviewing Professor Yehuda Bauer at JW3.
But while she is proud of her relations with local rabbis and community leaders, her support for fighting anti-Semitism on and offline, she recognises the community feels let down by Labour, particularly in the aftermath of Ken Livingstone’s Hitler and Zionism comments. “He has trashed his own record,” she says. “He brought great offence to the Jewish community and I cannot tolerate his presence in our party any longer.”
Looking back on a difficult 18 months, Siddiq says: “Reassurances have not been given to the community as quickly as they should have been, and if I could go back in time, I would step in and suggest a wholly different course. However, Jeremy Corbyn is pitching his vision for a fairer society at this election, and I believe his policies for the health service and our education system are something the Jewish community could comfortably support.”
Asked if she had any regrets over nominating Corbyn for the Labour leadership in 2015, she says: “I nominated Jeremy to ensure the widest possible debate for Labour members. In the second leadership contest, I supported his opponent, Owen Smith – it would therefore be bizarre to revert to my position of two years before. However, it is now pleasing to see the Labour family has come together to take our case to the British public.
“For all the focus on Corbyn, the Government has done a pretty horrific job in managing our health service, our economy and of course, the Brexit process. Local residents know it will be my name on the ballot paper and that I will continue to give them a strong voice in Parliament, whoever our party leader is.”
Also seeking election in this constituency: Claire-Louise Leyland Conservative, Kirsty Allan, Liberal Democrats, Green Party: John Mansook; Independent: Hugh Easterbrook; Independent: Rainbow: George Weiss.