Andrew Dismore to step down from front line politics after decades representing North West London

The assembly member, a former MP, was warmly regarded by the Jewish community, particularly for his work establishing Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK


Andrew Dismore, the former MP for Hendon and London Assembly member for Barnet & Camden, is to retire from front-line politics next year.

Mr Dismore, who served as MP for the constituency with the second highest percentage of Jewish people, from 1997 to 2010, announced his decision on his website, saying: “After almost 40 years in elected politics as a Labour Party councillor, MP and now Assembly Member, it feels the time is right to stand down at the May 2020 London elections.

“My decision is not on political but personal grounds. After so long a time in front line politics, I would like to help and encourage someone else to have the opportunity of representing the people of Barnet and Camden.”

Mr Dismore was highly regarded by the Jewish community, and his announcement was met by praise from a number of prominent Jews from different sides of the political divide.

Philip Rosenberg, a former Labour councillor for West Hampstead and public affairs director for the Board of Deputies, tweeted: "Will miss Andrew Dismore at City Hall.

"A diligent and tenacious servant of Barnet & Camden after being an excellent MP for Hendon. You couldn’t meet a harder-working political representative."

Meanwhile, the Conservative peer Lord Finkelstein, praised Mr Dismore for his "diligent service to the public and contribution to politics. You have been very important to the local community and I, for one, am very grateful for it."


Speaking to the JC in the wake of his 2010 election defeat, Mr Dismore, the former vice chair of Labour Friends of Israel, said that speaking out for Israel "in the bad times" had lost him votes.

"If you are seen as pro-Israel you get a lot of stick", he said. "Having the balls to get up in the Commons and defend Israel when the whole of the House is against you is not easy."

Mr Dismore said that he thought after his election as MP he had been "viewed with suspicion at first by the Jewish community", but had won them round through his work on a number of issues, most notably, his successful campaign to have Holocaust Memorial Day established as an annual event in the UK.

He also worked hard to help the Jewish community on key issues such as shechitah and schooling.

Following on from his years in Parliament, Mr Dismore won the Barnet and Camden Greater London Assembly seat for Labour in 2012, with many members of the Jewish community, even those who traditionally voted Conservative, choosing to back him instead. 

Mr Dismore said he would "continue to serve the two boroughs for the remainder of my term of office. I will also do all I can to support Labour’s new candidate for the 2020 Assembly election to retain the seat for Labour and to re-elect Sadiq [Khan] as Mayor.’

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