UK news

Luton South: Election 2010

By Robyn Rosen, April 29, 2010

Inside Luton's indoor market, between a party shop and a drycleaners, is an office with dusted windows trimmed in a purple border.

Seated at an antique desk, next to a white sofa with plumped cushions, a tray of biscuits and a huge bunch of roses in a crystal vase, is Luton's most glamorous parliamentary candidate, Esther Rantzen.

The former host of That's Life! and founder of ChildLine is standing as an independent parliamentary candidate for Luton South.


William Hague: I have Iran in my sights

April 29, 2010

William Hague is in no doubt about the most urgent issue to face him if he finds himself in the Foreign Office next month.

"It's the Iranian nuclear programme," he says. "We have consistently been the party arguing for tough sanctions and a strong European approach over the last few years, and are very frustrated that this hasn't emerged strongly enough."


Tottenham: Election 2010

April 29, 2010

It will be something of a political earthquake if Labour's David Lammy is unseated in Tottenham.

He holds a majority of 13,034 and his nearest rivals are the Liberal Democrats, who at the last election pushed the Tories into third.

Despite the slim chance of an upset, both Labour and the Tories are going out of their way to court the Charedi community in south Tottenham.

Mr Lammy has been pictured in the Orthodox paper Hamodia enjoying Chanukah and the local paper has carried pictures of him on a walkabout with Charedi leaders.


Altrincham and Sale West: Election 2010

By Jonathan Kalmus, April 29, 2010

Manchester Jewry's most affluent community sits on the edge of the only Tory seat in Greater Manchester, Altrincham and Sale West.

It is home to Bowdon, Hale and Sale, some of Manchester's wealthiest suburbs, each with its own synagogue. It has the largest Jewish community outside north Manchester, although it makes up only two per cent of the area's population.

Nevertheless, incumbent MP Graham Brady is chasing the Jewish vote, noting the "vibrant" community is "integrated into every walk of life, whether business, education, public service or voluntary organisations."


Police probe death threats to Jewish candidate

April 29, 2010

Police are investigating after a Jewish parliamentary candidate claimed he had received a death threat.

Leaflets have also been distributed branding Lee Scott an "enemy of Muslims".

Mr Scott, Conservative MP for Ilford North since 2005, says he was approached by two Asian youths while campaigning last week. They allegedly told him they would kill him.

Leaflets handed out in the constituency claim Mr Scott "works tirelessly in Parliament against Muslims" and list his roles as a member of the Zionist Federation and Conservative Friends of Israel as examples.


Who votes for whom in the Jewish community?

By Simon Rocker, April 29, 2010

Members of central Orthodox synagogues are far more likely to vote Conservative than those in Reform synagogues, according to research on the political attitudes of British Jews collected early this year.

Almost half - 48 per cent - who belonged to bodies such as the United Synagogue said they supported the Tories, with 22 per cent pro-Labour; in contrast, 34 per cent of Reform members preferred Labour, with 28 per cent in favour of the Conservatives.


Former Tory leads BNP push for Bury

By Jonathan Kalmus, April 29, 2010

For the first time the BNP have a parliamentary candidate standing for Bury South, home to two significantly Jewish areas.

This week, election leaflets for Jean Purdy, a former Conservative activist and senior NHS nurse, landed on doormats in Whitefield and Prestwich setting out three objectives: to stop immigration, pull out troops in Afghanistan and to raise the weekly pension.

A Conservative spokesperson sought to distance the party from Ms Purdy, saying: "We disown any association with her. Their values are not ours."


Far right 'serious threat', Lib Dem candidate warns

By Jonathan Kalmus, April 29, 2010

Jewish libDem candidate Richard Baum has warned that the BNP could make significant gains in the Bury North constituency.

The area, a few miles from where Ivan Lewis and Michelle Wiseman are duelling for their seat, has around five per cent Muslims, and virtually no Jewish community.

Mr Baum says six BNP candidates standing in most of the constituency's local elections is worrying. A further four are standing in the Bury South consituency.


Jewish couple's bid for Paralympic horseriding

By Simon Rocker, April 29, 2010

If Britain wins an equestrian medal at the next Olympics, the country may well have cause to thank Emma and Mike Phillips. The couple, together with leading showjumper Ben Maher, co-own champion steed Robin Hood.

But their aspirations go beyond Olympic glory: they are trying to mobilise support to ensure that Israel is represented in horse-riding at the 2012 London Paralympic Games.

In just six years, the couple have established a world class horse-breeding and Olympic-standard training centre at Quainton Stud, a few miles outside Aylesbury.


"Comedy terrorist" takes on David Cameron

By Marcus Dysch, April 29, 2010

Two Jewish candidates from rather different sides of the political spectrum are attempting to overturn David Cameron's 14,000 majority.

Self-styled "comedy terrorist" Aaron Barschak - best-known for gate-crashing Prince William's 21st birthday party while dressed as Osama bin Laden - is hoping to become MP for Witney, the Oxford constituency held by the Tory leader.

Fellow candidate Joe Goldberg is less controversial. He is a Labour councillor in Haringey, north London.