Anger over Yomtov clash

By Simon Round, September 15, 2011

A Jewish councillor has protested to Hackney Council at the holding of a civic event on the first night of Rosh Hashanah.

Councillor Linda Kelly - who switched from the ruling Labour group to the Conservatives in summer - criticised the council's speaker, Susan Fajana Thomas, for the timing of the fundraising dinner.

"If this is a civic event, all the communities should be invited," Councillor Kelly said. "She has excluded an entire community." The dates of Jewish festivals were listed in the council diary, she pointed out.

A council spokesman explained that "the speaker has a great number of events to fit into her diary over the course of her term in office.

"It is unfortunate that this civic dinner takes place on the same day as Rosh Hashanah.

"However, the date is convenient for the speaker and the hosts, St Joseph's Hospice.

"The aim of the event is to raise money for the speaker's nominated charities, City and Hackney Carers Centre and Timeline."

But Councillor Kelly dismissed the explanation as "laughable. She is saying you can't please all the people all of the time, tough luck."

Last updated: 3:16pm, September 15 2011