UK news

Cambridge students host Azam Tamimi

April 29, 2010

Think tank director Douglas Murray was due to speak to Jewish students at Cambridge University last night, a fortnight after an Islamic group convinced the Union of Jewish Students to drop him from a panel debate.

Mr Murray was expected to discuss ways to improve Jewish students' responses to hate-speakers on campus.

But on the same night, the university's Palestine Society was set to host a panel expected to include inflammatory speakers Azzam Tamimi and Daud Abdullah as part of an Israeli Apartheid Week event.


Anti-Israel demos at technology show

By Marcus Dysch, April 29, 2010

Anti-Israel demonstrations took place outside the Scottish Parliament for three days this week as an exhibition promoting the Jewish state's technological achievements prompted mass opposition.

The small exhibit, Israel's contribution to medicine, science and technology, was organised by the Scottish Friends of Israel group and sponsored by MSP Ken MacIntosh.

It opened on Tuesday at Holyrood. Protesters from the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Scottish Friends of Palestine groups gathered outside the parliament building.


Website launched to challenge Holocaust denial

By Leon Symons, April 29, 2010

A groundbreaking Second World War website launched to counter Holocaust denial will be launched next week.

The site is the brainchild of the historian and documentary filmmaker Laurence Rees, former creative director of BBC Television History.

Mr Rees has also written seven history books about different aspects of the war, including one to accompany his acclaimed television series Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution.

Since that book and programme appeared, Mr Rees says he had been "plagued by Holocaust deniers".


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."