Former Conservative councillor is Ukip hopeful

A Lubavitch ex-councillor has been selected as one of the UK Independence Party’s highest-ranked European parliamentary election candidates.

Shneur Odze was previously a Conservative Party councillor in the London borough of Hackney, but will bid for a seat in Brussels at next May’s elections.

Defending shechita and circumcision would be key priorities if elected, said Mr Odze.

He was selected fourth on Ukip’s shortlist in the north-west area. Ukip national members will now vote on which order candidates will be placed on the party’s final lists at the election.

Mr Odze, who now lives in Manchester, said: “I am humbled to have been ranked so high and will be reaching out to as many members as I can in the next few weeks.

“Most issues such as religious slaughter, circumcision and school entry are decided in the European parliament. It’s imperative we have someone there fighting our corner.”

If elected, Mr Odze would be Britain’s first Jewish MEP since David Sumberg stepped down from representing the Tories in the north-west in 2009.

Last updated: 7:45am, August 16 2013