Blackley and Broughton: Election 2010

By Jonathan Kalmus, April 22, 2010
Graham Stringer

Graham Stringer

Salford's Orthodox Jewish community, the most concentrated outside London, is facing serious inroads from the BNP.

The new cross-border constituency of Blackley and Broughton takes in the strongly Jewish areas of Higher Crumpsall and Broughton Park, the latter a wealthy pocket of large houses. Nearby, however, cramped council estates in Kersal and the UK's once most deprived area of Harpurhey are fostering far-right support.

BNP candidate Derek Adams, whose Ace of Diamonds pub hosted Nick Griffin's European election victory party, could ride local anger over unemployment and multi-ethnic immigration.

But he is unlikely to unseat Labour's Graham Stringer, who held the old Manchester Blackley seat with a 40 per cent Labour majority.

A former leader of Manchester City Council, Mr Stringer has a long-standing relationship with the Jewish community. The constituency, which includes the King David schools, has inherited wards which are home to the city's Charedi community. This is an electoral advantage because Salford's Labour-led council has honed probably the best working relationship with strictly Orthodox Jews in the UK.

It has afforded them a Sure Start centre, the Beis Yaakov state-aided secondary school and a plethora of NHS and other services tailored to meet the needs of the fast-growing, and in parts, poor community.

But what he calls the mishandling of this council strategy is contributing to BNP support, claims Tory candidate James Edsberg. On Sunday he and Mr Stringer canvassed simultaneously on Leicester Road, Manchester's equivalent to Golders Green's high street.

The Liberal Democrat, William Hobhouse, a councillor in nearby Rochdale, says the Jewish community will benefit from his balance of "localism and devolution of power to communities", while boosting jobs in manufacturing will help to dissipate far-right support.

Last updated: 3:13pm, April 22 2010