Kebab seller hoping to skewer Labour veteran


She may be best known as the purveyor of kosher kebabs, but Hannah David could soon be grilling political opponents in the House of Commons.

Ms David used to grace the pages of the JC in adverts displaying the wares at her Let's Meat restaurant in Borehamwood. At the same time she was leader of the town's council and a member of the borough authority.

But the Conservative candidate's sights are now set on unseating Labour's Shadow Middle East Minister, Gareth Thomas, in the Harrow West constituency on May 7.

The constituency is 10 miles from the area where Ms David cut her teeth politically, but assessing her campaign at the local Tory association office, she says she can closely identify with Harrow voters. "A lot of constituents here are from immigrant backgrounds, as am I, so we have a lot of similar cultural narrative.

"I gave up my job to do this full time. I'm here from the start of the day to the end of it," she explained.

Harrow West

Location: North-west London
Sitting MP: Gareth Thomas (Lab)
Majority: 3,143
Size of electorate: 69,135
Also standing in May: Hannah David (Cons), Chris Noyce (Lib Dem), Rowan Langley (Green)

The Jewish population of Harrow West has dwindled in the past 20 years, but the constituency remains one of the most ethnically diverse seats in the country.

Among the Tories who have failed to unseat Mr Thomas since 1997 are Mike Freer, who was elected in 2010 as an MP in Finchley, and Daniel Finkelstein, now a peer.

Ms David is determined to succeed where they failed. Selected in December 2012, she has been campaigning hard in the constituency for more than two years. As election day approaches, the non-practising solicitor believes national issues could propel her into Parliament.

"The majority of people here, from our canvassing, want David Cameron as Prime Minister, not Ed Miliband. There's a strong personality factor," she said.

"I believe this government has really moved the country forward with its long-term economic plan, helping families and businesses. People on the street see that and feel it.

"This is going to be a very close election. All I can do to unseat Gareth is make sure I meet as many people as possible and make that relationship with them. I don't believe he's doing that."

With her opponent holding a key role for Labour in relation to Israel and the Palestinians, Ms David has maintained a keen interest in her own party's stance on the issue.

"David Cameron sends a really important message when it comes to Israel. People in the Jewish community are nervous. But with him in control they feel safe."

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