UK news

Minister warns of Euro-poll hate

By Leon Symons, May 14, 2009

A government minister has warned that a lasting legacy of racial hatred could result from campaigning by far-right candidates in next month’s European elections.

Communities Minister Sadiq Khan said that the effect of literature produced by far-right parties, including the British National Party, could continue after the elections on June 4.

“The Jewish community will need to keep a very close eye on literature that could be antisemitic because it will be written in a very clever and cunning way,” said Mr Khan.

More..

Lieberman welcome to visit, say Deputies

By Simon Rocker, May 14, 2009

Israel’s controversial Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman would be welcome at the Board of Deputies, the four contenders for its presidency agreed this week.

The electoral success of his nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party in February provoked disquiet among UK Jews, with several prominent rabbis condemning his attitude towards Arabs.

More..

Coach blasts Tribe over ‘ridiculous’ reasons for sacking

By Leon Symons, May 14, 2009

A table tennis coach sacked by Tribe, the United Synagogue’s youth branch, has complained to education watchdog Ofsted.

Father-of-two Steve Cohen, 52, worked with Tribe for five years until the end of last month, when he was called to a meeting and dismissed after a complaint had been made against him. Subsequently, he was sent a letter in which two further complaints were made.

More..

Expense-row MP 'flipped homes'

By Leon Symons, May 14, 2009

Leeds North East MP Fabian Hamilton has been caught up in the continuing controversy over Parliamentary expenses.

He had declared his mother’s house as his main residence while his family home’s mortgage, where his wife and children lived, was paid by the taxpayer, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Later, after spending considerable sums decorating the family home, Mr Hamilton “flipped” his designated home to a new flat in Maida Vale, London, which was also then decorated at the taxpayer’s expense.

More..

Tesco denies labels shift but ‘will meet’ Palestine group

By Paul Gallagher, May 14, 2009

Tesco executives have agreed to meet members of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign to discuss labelling on produce from West Bank settlements, despite insisting that there will be no change in their policy.

The long-challenged voluntary labelling guidelines, whereby supermarkets are encouraged by the government to state explicitly on packaging whether the produce comes from Jewish settlements or not, may be in place by the end of the month.

More..

Nun back on Shoah hero list

By Simon Caldwell, May 14, 2009

A Catholic nun who saved a family of French Jews from the Nazis has been added to a list of British heroes proposed for an honour by the government after initially being forgotten.

Sister Agnes Walsh is one of just 13 Britons already honoured as Righteous Among Nations by Yad Vashem.

But she was left out of a list of the rescuers, put together by the Holocaust Education Trust, who may be posthumously honoured by the government for their actions in saving Jewish lives.

More..

Archbishop restrains anti-Israel Anglicans

By Keren David, May 14, 2009

Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has intervened to prevent a resolution highly critical of Israel being passed by an advisory committee of the Anglican Church.

The Archbishop’s contribution to the debate succeeded in softening the language of the resolution passed, although it still links Israel to an “apartheid” policy in the West Bank and makes no mention of Hamas.

More..

Just tips? That is a Solly salary

By James Martin, May 14, 2009

Waiters at a leading London kosher restaurant just get tips and no salary, despite the fact that new legislation will soon require all staff to be paid a minimum wage.

Golders Green-based Solly’s restaurant refused to discuss claims that its waiters worked exclusively for tips, claiming that it was a “private matter for the company”.

Asked whether they thought it was ethical not to pay a basic wage before tips, a manager — who refused to give her name — did not want to comment.

More..

UCU ‘in internal court war’

By Leon Symons, May 14, 2009

Reports of a legal clash between the trustees of the University and College Union and its executive were circulating on Wednesday afternoon.

The JC was told that the trustees had gone to the High Court ahead of publication, due on Thursday, of the list of motions to be debated at UCU’s annual congress in Bournemouth at the end of the month. It is understood that the trustees were seeking an injunction to prevent publication of the list in case it contained an anti-Israel boycott motion.

More..

Solicitor fights bribe charges

By Leon Symons, May 14, 2009

A London solicitor will know next month if his fight against extradition to America has been successful.

Jeffrey Tesler, 60, has been named in a 29-page indictment for his alleged participation in a decade-long scheme to bribe Nigerian government officials. The apparent intention was to obtain contracts to build liquefied natural gas facilities on Bonny Island, Nigeria, valued at £3.9 billion.

Mr Tesler’s legal representatives told the Guardian that “he strongly denies any wrongdoing and has acted at all times within the law”.

More..