Boris Johnson enjoys a Hill start with Charedi voters. . .

London’s Mayor sampled cholent and showed off some limited snooker skills during election campaign visits to two major Jewish communities on the same day

April 11, 2012

The kosher takeaways and bread shops of Stamford Hill were doing a brisk trade as locals got their last taste of pre-Pesach bread when Boris Johnson arrived for his walkabout.

His flaxen dome was as prominent among the growing entourage of Charedi black hats and kippot as the moon in the night sky.

First port of call was Jewish Care's Brenner Community Centre where, in his most sonorous Churchillian tones, the Mayor promised his audience of OAPs that he would review the 73 bus route and there would be "no narrowing of the Seven Sisters Road".

But he was left in no doubt by a feisty Celia Kosminsky that the capital's senior citizenry would be keeping an eye on his policies. "I want your support for us, never mind our support for you," she said. "There's a lot of us and we intend to stay around for a long, long time."

There was no time to sample the marble cake before he was whisked off to the new Lubavitch children's centre.

‘I haven’t got time to eat the hot dog. I will carry it out like the Olympic flame’

Already behind the clock, his minders were in despair as he was press-ganged downstairs for an unscheduled photograph in the nursery.

"I will return," he boomed as he was taken across the road to meet Rabbi Dovid Frand, president of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, and other strictly Orthodox dignitaries.

"You are knocking on an open door here," former Hackney Mayor and Conservative stalwart Joe Lobenstein assured him. "There is a lot of support for you from the local Jewish community."

After quick calls at Grodzinski's and Charles Ledsham opticians, where he was presented with a pair of sunglasses, he temporarily left the kosher track for a stop at the Polish deli. Simche Steinberger, one of the Charedi councillors and leader of Hackney's Conservative opposition, is noted for his help for the local Polish community and sometimes runs a surgery at the deli.

With local Greater London Assembly candidate Naomi Newstead looking after the Mayor's gift bag of Polish sausages, it was back to kashrut at Maxie and Ephraim Goldstein's takeaway. Having ordered a hot dog, a polystyrene bowl of stew was placed before him. "It's the hors d'oeuvres," he was told. "It's called cholent."

"Thank you for the delicious chew-lent," Mr Johnson declared. "I'm sorry I haven't got time to eat the hot dog. I will carry it out with me like the Olympic flame."

Then it was on to his waiting campaign bus to ferry him to a Jewish gym, his final destination. "It's double-parked", a peyoted passer-by noted approvingly.

Last updated: 3:04pm, April 11 2012