Mike Freer wins Finchley and Golders Green
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General Election 2019: Jewish News LIVE BLOG!

As Britain goes to the polls, follow our rolling feed of news, analysis and reaction

Welcome to the Jewish News’ election LIVE BLOG!

With Britain going to the polls – choosing between Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party – we offer the latest news, reaction and analysis from across the country.

We will be following results for Jewish candidates, hopefuls in areas with significant communities, and those who have been involved in the Labour antisemitism row.

If you have a contribution to make – send us an email to editorial@thejngroup.com!

Here is this week’s Jewish News election day front page!

Meet the candidates!

Throughout the General Election campaign, Jewish News has previewed candidates standing in constituencies with a significant Jewish population.

Meet the hopefuls in: Hendon, Hertsmere,  Hampstead and Kilburn , Ilford North, Finchley & Golders Green, Harrow East? 

Send us your thoughts if you live in any of these constituencies! Email: editorial@thejngroup.com!

Labour’s ‘commitments to the Jewish people of Britain’

“In government, Labour will take all necessary measures to protect Jewish people, their places of worship and other institutions such as schools and community centres from threats of any kind..”

Read Labour’s Shadow Communities Secretary, Andrew Gwynne, writing in this week’s Jewish News on his party’s ‘commitments to the Jewish people of Britain’.

Andrew Gwynne (Labour Party via Jewish News)

‘Labour antisemitism will destroy British democracy’

“A Corbyn Government would transform the UK into a global hub for antisemitism and extremism. Very quickly our country would become a deeply hostile environment for Jewish people.”

James Sorene of BICOM reflects on how Labour antisemitism will destroy British democracy, if Jeremy Corbyn is allowed into Number. 10.

 

Our most memorable front pages

Today will signal the end of Corbyn’s Labour – or the dawn of Corbyn’s Britain. It’s been a torrid four years for the Jewish community, watching a once-great party consumed by the oldest hatred.

Now, after all the front pages, television reports and radio hours, all we can hope is the message has sunk in and the British public will roundly reject a Corbyn-led government.

Here at Jewish News we’ve followed every step of the sorry saga, from Corbyn’s rise to power in 2015, through the 2017 general election until today, as we stand at the cusp of a new political reality.

Here’s a selection of some of our most memorable front pages over this difficult time.

Future briefing

“In the new, improved, atmosphere, rabbis, communal leaders and the new cohort of Jewish Labour MPs all became regular visitors to the Prime Minister’s Office for tea and rugelach.”

What would happen if Jeremy Corbyn became PM? Joseph Finlay says it will all be fine, as he looks into his crystal ball….

Brexit candidate dropped over Shoah denial

The Brexit Party has withdrawn its support for an election candidate who shared Holocaust denial on social media.

The candidate created an online profile under the names ‘Man Chester’ and ‘Jim Edward’ on Facebook, and claimed “there’s not enough evidence they [Jews] were gassed”.

He also said “we sent our boys to die fighting to save Jewish Communists who now portray us as villains in their Hollywood movies” and that “Hitler was a Zionist helping to build Israel”.

Read more here: https://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/brexit-party-drops-candidate-who-said-not-enough-evidence-jews-were-gassed/

 

Some of the comments made by James Buckley i.e. ‘Man Chester’ on Facebook

Community response to antisemitism row

“The community digs deep to support the Board and the JLC digs deep to support itself and Jewish institutions. But when it has come to being a consistent public voice, in a bitterly fought election campaign where Jewish candidates are in the line of fire, leadership has disappointed.

Alex Brummer reflects on the communal response to the Labour antisemitism row

If I were prime minister… ?

We ask community stalwarts what they would do if they were handed the coveted keys to Downing Street…

 

Here’s what they had to say:

If I were prime minister…

Danny Cohen on Labour antisemitism fight

Former Director of Television at the BBC and current President of Access Entertainment Danny Cohen says voting Labour is to claim that antisemitism is a “price worth paying” for other political goals

Maureen Lipman’s warning

Jewish actress pens powerful column in the Mail Online which urges voters to shun Labour:

“So, dear reader, how will you vote? For Labour? Or for a Britain that we can all call home?”

During the election campaign, Maureen Lipman’s beloved Beattie made a surprise comeback in a blistering video tearing into Jeremy Corbyn.

Watch her video here:

Seats to look out for

We will be bringing you all the latest updates from the key seats across the country with Jewish MPs, allies of the community, and politicians who have been involved with the Labour antisemitism row.

Key marginals to look out for include:

Luciana Berger (LD) vs Mike Freer (CON) vs Ross Houston (LAB) in Finchley and Golders Green

Theresa Villiers (CON) defending her majority of 353 in Chipping Barnet

Matthew Offord (CON) versus David Pinto-Duschinsky (LAB)

Corbyn critic Wes Streeting (LAB) in Ilford North

Tulip Siddiq (LAB) in Hampstead and Kilburn, looks to defend her North London seat which has JW3 and a sizeable Jewish community.

Jewish MPs and MPs with sizeable communities looking to retain their seats:

Alex Sobel (LAB) (Leeds North West)

Ruth Smeeth (LAB) (Stoke-on-Trent North)

Ivan Lewis (INDEPENDENT) (Bury South)

Fabian Hamilton (LAB) (Leeds North East)

Jonathan Djanogly (CON) (Huntingdon)

Dame Margaret Hodge (LAB) (Barking)

Sir Oliver Letwin (CON) (West Dorset)

Oliver Dowden (CON) (Hertsmere)

Michael Fabricant (CON) (Lichfield)

Mike Gapes (CHANGE UK) (Ilford South)

Robert Halfon (CON) (Harlow)

Andrew Percy (CON) (Brigg and Goole)

 

Problematic candidates

Sally-Ann Hart (Hastings and Rye)

Richard Short (St Helens South and Whiston)

Lee Anderson (Ashfield)

Chris Williamson (Derby North)

Jean Anne Mitchell (West Dunbartonshire)

James Edward Buckley (Blackley and Broughton)

Sam Tarry (Ilford South)

Safia Ali (Falkirk)

Richard Burgon (Leeds East)

Waheed Rafiq (Birmingham Hodge Hill)

Ryan Houghton (Aberdeen North)

Amjad Bashir (Leeds North East)

Ruth George (High Peak)

Wera Hobhouse (Bath)

Ali Milani (Uxbridge and South Ruislip)

Laura McAlpine (Harlow)

George Galloway (West Bromwich East)

EXIT POLL – Conservatives predicted big win

Boris Johnson’s gamble on a snap election looks set to have paid off with the Tories likely to win a sizeable majority, according to an exit poll.

The BBC/Sky/ITV poll suggested the Conservative would win 368 seats, 42 above the 326 needed for an absolute majority in the House of Commons.

Labour is predicted to win 191 seats, the Scottish National Party 55, Liberal Democrats 13, the Brexit Party none, Plaid Cymru three and Greens one.

This would give the Tories a majority of 86.

More to follow… 

We can leave the lights on.

Poll suggests a Luciana Berger win in Finchley and Golders Green

Controversial candidates to look out for…

As well as key Jewish politicians and community allies, we’ll also keep track of candidates who’ve been criticised for claims of antisemitism or their role in the Labour antisemitism row.

 Gordon Nardell (LAB) (Cities of London and Westminster) – QC hired by Labour to tackle antisemitism backlog

Sally-Ann Hart  (CON) (Hastings and Rye) – Tory candidate which Labour urged Conservatives to drop over ‘antisemitism‘.

Richard Short (St Helens South and Whiston) and Lee Anderson (Ashfield) (both CON) also accused of antisemitism. 

Chris Williamson (Derby North).

Labour MP Chris Williamson. Photo credit read: Rousseau/PA Wire

Jean Anne Mitchell (West Dunbartonshire) – Scottish Labour hopeful apologised for ‘clearly antisemitic‘ message.

James Edward Buckley (Blackley and Broughton) – Brexit Party candidate who questioned the Holocaust, praised Hitler.

Sam Tarry (Ilford South) – Labour candidate who some said ‘exploit’ antisemitism over foreign policy clash

Safia Ali (Falkirk) – candidate dropped by Labour over ‘deeply antisemitic‘ posts.

Richard Burgon (Leeds East), Corbyn ally who said Zionism “is the enemy” of peace.

Waheed Rafiq (Birmingham Hodge Hill) – a Liberal Democrat hopeful suspended over ‘clearly and unambiguously antisemitic’ comments

Ryan Houghton (Aberdeen North) – Tory hopeful who was suspended after quoting Holocaust denier David Irving.

Amjad Bashir (Leeds North East), candidate dropped by Tories, after saying Jews return from Israel “brainwashed extremists

Ruth George (High Peak), Labour candidate who said it’s “possible” Israel backed the Independent Group.

Wera Hobhouse (Bath), Lib Dem candidate who compared Gaza to ‘Nazi ghettos’

Ali Milani (Uxbridge and South Ruislip), Labour candidate challenging Boris Johnson who sent “deeply antisemitic” tweet during student days.

Laura McAlpine (Harlow), Labour election candidate defended ‘Jewish final solution’ slur 

George Galloway (West Bromwich East)

George Galloway. Photo credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

Ruth Smeeth at risk of losing seat

Sky News suggests Ruth Smeeth’s Stoke on Trent North seat is at threat from the Conservatives.

Mike Freer wins Finchley and Golders Green

Ruth Smeeth loses seat

“I have lost, I am no longer MP – this is a disaster. Jeremy Corbyn should resign now before his own count is in.”

Chris Williamson loses seat – and deposit

The final result came in Derby North where Williamson was defeated by the Conservatives’ Amanda Solloway, who gained the seat with 21,259 votes.

Chris Williamson loses seat with just 635 votes

Corbyn blames Brexit for loss – and says he won’t lead party to next election

Jeremy Corbyn: I will not lead the party in any future general election campaign

Labour QC fails in bid to take Westminster seat

Gordon Nardell, who was brought in by Corbyn’s party to tackle antisemitism backlog, falls short in Cities of London and Westminster.  

The lawyer came in third place, winning 11,624 votes compared to runner-up Chuka Umunna with 13,096 and the Tories Nickie Aiken, who came out on top with 17,049.

Offord wins in Hendon – but ‘anger’ at ‘worst’ behaviour from opponents

Theresa Villiers wins Chipping Barnet to complete Tory clean sweep

Lansman: Labour doesn’t need to make leadership call ‘until the New Year’

Founder of Momentum, Jon Lansman, said the decision on whether Labour should replace Jeremy Corbyn as party leader doesn’t need to be taken “until the New Year”.

Mr Lansman said Mr Corbyn has “achieved a great deal” on issues such as austerity, and that the election was “incredibly polarised because of Brexit”.

Speaking on ITV, he said: “I think maybe the manifesto was too long and too detailed, it’s a programme actually not for a government, but for 10 years. I think it’s a good programme, but maybe we need to have shorter, snappier manifestos.”

Mr Lansman continued: “The result is a disastrous result because millions of people in this country who are suffering from the affects of austerity are going to suffer badly.”

On whether Mr Corbyn should be replaced, he added: “I think Jeremy has to make those decisions himself. You know Jeremy has always been a reluctant leader, I don’t think he’ll overstay his welcome.

“But I think he should be able to make decisions. And I don’t think we should rush into these things. Christmas is not far away, I don’t think decisions really need to be taken about this until the New Year.”

Chief Rabbi: Focus on shared values and leave hatred and prejudice behind

Jewish Labour Movement reacts to election result

JLM is “devastated” that its parliamentary chair Ruth Smeeth loses her seat, as they call for Jeremy Corbyn to stand down:

Board of Deputies: ‘history will not look kindly on Corbyn’

 Marie van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said:

“This election victory is an historic achievement for Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party. We hope that the Prime Minister will use his new mandate to bring the country together, and put an end to the toxicity and prejudice which has become too regular a feature of our politics. We look forward to working with the Government to ensure that our country strives to be a beacon of inclusion and respect for all its inhabitants.

“When he eventually steps back, history will not look kindly on Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party, where anti-Jewish racism has been allowed to run amok and some at the highest levels of the party have appeared to collude to protect antisemites.

“We urge the next leader of the Labour Party to act quickly to implement the steps repeatedly recommended by Jewish communal groups to begin solving this crisis and moving our politics forward.”

JLC reflects on ‘difficult’ election, urges ‘respect’ for all

 Jonathan Goldstein, Chair of the Jewish Leadership Council said:

“We congratulate the Government upon its winning this election; and we look forward to working with it, as we have its predecessors, to address the issues and concerns of the Jewish community.

“This General Election has been difficult for all of us. It has been especially challenging for Jews, but we are not the only community to have expressed sincere fears about the direction of British politics and society. We hope that our country’s politicians, from all parties, will now do their utmost to demonstrate respect for all British citizens, and for the values upon which our democracy depends.”

Margaret Hodge to Corbyn: “You failed. Please stand down.”

 

“Corbyn talking about a period of ‘reflection’. I’ve reflected. You failed. Please stand down.”

Gove: ‘You should never have to live in fear again’

“You have had to live in fear for months now concerns we will have a prime minister who trafficked in anti-Jewish rhetoric and embraced anti-Jewish terrorists. You should never have to live in fear again

Netanyahu congratulates his “friend” Boris

Israel’s PM tweets: “Congratulations my friend @BorisJohnson  on your historic victory. This is a great day for the people of Great Britain and for the friendship between us.”

Jewish Agency’s Isaac Herzog: Victory is good news for ‘entire Jewish people’

Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog today sent a congratulatory greeting to the new British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, following his election victory, stating: “Your victory is great news not only for England, but for the entire Jewish people and the battle on anti-Semitism, as well as human rights and the struggle for democracy.” Herzog stressed Johnson’s unwavering commitment to combating anti-Semitism.

Three weeks ago, Boris Johnson sent a letter to the Chairman of The Jewish Agency stating his deep commitment to combating anti-Semitism. “I express my support for all Jewish communities in the United Kingdom and around the world. The safety of Jewish people is a top priority for the UK government,” Johnson said in a letter to Herzog, detailing the actions his government is taking to eradicate anti-Semitism and bolster security for Jewish communities. Johnson added, “I completely agree that we need to do more to stamp this out and better protect our Jewish friends and neighbours.”

 

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Mike Freer wins Finchley and Golders Green