UK news

Jew and Muslim are Conservative co-chairs

By Martin Bright, May 13, 2010

A Jew and a Muslim have been appointed joint chairs of the Conservative Party in a bold attempt to establish David Cameron’s credentials as a modernising leader who can reach out across British society.

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, a 39-year-old lawyer from Dewsbury, who was shadow communities spokeswoman, will serve as Britain’s first Muslim Cabinet member.

She leapt to public prominence after her combative performance on Question Time alongside BNP leader Nick Griffin.

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Chief Rabbi's tribute to Lady Jakobovits

By Jessica Elgot, May 12, 2010

There are some individuals so vivid, so full of life, that we simply cannot imagine them not being there.

There are some lives that burn so bright, we cannot imagine them being extinguished. That surely defines the feelings of all of us at the loss of HaRabbanit Amélie Jakobovits, the person the whole of Anglo- Jewry knew and loved as Lady J.

First there was shock, then bewilderment, then a deep sense of bereavement and personal loss, for we have all lost a beloved friend.

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Cameron's Cabinet: Who are they?

By Jessica Elgot, May 12, 2010

Our run-down on how the new cabinet feel on key Jewish issues, including Israel, universal jurisdiction, faith schools and Islamic extremism.

David Cameron
Prime Minister, Conservatives

David Cameron talked warmly of finding his Jewish roots and said he had spoken about them to one of Britain’s leading rabbinical authorities.

Last July, Yaakov Wise of Manchester University’s Centre for Jewish Studies traced Mr Cameron’s family tree to 16th-century Jewish scholar Elijah Levit.

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NHS staff rate Hitler's 'coolness'

By Jessica Elgot, May 11, 2010

NHS staff have been asked to rate how “cool” Adolf Hitler was and to compare him to their chief executive, in a "disturbing" survey about leadership.

The survey, entitled ‘Making Leadership Cool’ is part of a £10,000 project of NHS West Midlands Strategic Health Authority.

It was sent to 3,300 staff at the West Midlands Ambulance service, who were asked to compare Hitler’s “coolness” with Richard Branson, Gordon Brown, Fabio Capello and Winston Churchill.

They were then asked to compare Hitler with their own chief executive Ian Cumming.

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Galloway seeks new role as 'Michael Moore' of Palestine

By Jessica Elgot, May 10, 2010

Former Respect MP George Galloway, who failed to win a seat in Thursday’s election, is heading to Hollywood, intending to become the “Michael Moore” of anti-Israel filmmaking.

Mr Galloway told the Times he would fly to Los Angeles later this weekend to drum up funding of between £2m and £4m for a film about the Palestinians.

Mr Galloway said he was disappointed that Respect would have no role to play in a hung parliament, after he failed to win a seat in Poplar and Limehouse.

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Election result: Watford

By Robyn Rosen, May 10, 2010

Richard Harrington, the former chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel, has ended Labour’s 13-year reign in Watford.

Mr Harrington received 19,291 votes, a 34.9 per cent share, narrowly beating Liberal Democrat candidate, Sal Brinton who received 17,866 votes.

The seat was held by Labour’s justice minister Claire Ward since 1997, who this time received 14,750 votes.

Mr Harrington said: “I was very pleased to win because it was a lot of hard work.

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Dismore may challenge Hendon election

By Marcus Dysch, May 10, 2010

Former Labour MP Andrew Dismore may legally challenge the result of the poll in the Hendon constituency, which has one of the highest percentages of Jewish voters in the country.

Mr Dismore wrote to supporters asking them to provide him with evidence of disorganisation and proof they had been denied the chance to vote.

He lost the seat, which he had held for 13 years, to Matthew Offord, a former deputy leader of Barnet Council, by just 106 votes following a recount.

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Election result: Harlow

By Dina Rickman, May 10, 2010

The political consultant of the Conservative Friends of Israel, Robert Halfon, has become an MP in Harlow after a 10 year campaign to enter Parliament.

Mr Halfon benefited from a 5.9 per cent swing from Labour to the Conservatives, beating his Labour opponent, former Armed Services Minister Bill Rammell, by 4,925 votes.

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MPAC boasts of election 'triumph'

By Marcus Dysch, May 7, 2010

A Muslim organisation which campaigned against candidates who support Israel has claimed it is responsible for Andrew Dismore losing his Hendon seat.

Mr Dismore was narrowly defeated by Conservative candidate Matthew Offord, losing the constituency by just 106 votes following a recount.

On its website, the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC) claimed it had “defeated the top ranking Zionist MP Dismore!”.

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BNP face big election losses

By Dina Rickman, May 7, 2010

The BNP have suffered a thrashing at the hands of the electorate, despite fears that the extreme rightwing party would gain a seat in Parliament after their success in the European elections.

Nick Griffin, the leader of the BNP, last night said it was "not too late” for his party in Britain, which only recently publicly acknowledged that the Shoah happened.

However the results flooding in from seats and local councils across the UK did not support his statement, with the party returning no MPs and almost half of their candidates said to be facing losing their deposit.

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