Labour won the Jewish mothers’ vote, says Hampstead MP Tulip Siddiq

Hampstead & Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq accepts antisemitism remains an unsolved issue within Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party - but reveals some Jewish voters still backed the party in protest at Tory austerity measures



Tulip Siddiq, Labour’s victorious candidate in Hampstead and Kilburn, has said Jewish voters backed her on election day because their concerns over the government’s cuts to education and the NHS outweighed their dislike of Jeremy Corbyn.

Ms Siddiq – who retained her seat with a massively increased majority of 15, 560, in a constituency in which nearly 7000 Jews live – said she was approached by Jewish mothers in the days before the poll who said they had decided to vote Labour.

But the outspoken Muslim MP said she had been left in “despair” by Jeremy Corbyn’s failure to resolve what she accepted was still a “major problem” over antisemitism from a small section within the party – and she called on the leader to back the expulsion from the party of suspended former London Mayor  Ken Livingstone.

Admitting she was surprised to have beaten the Tory candidate Claire-Louise Leyland so convincingly,  Ms Siddiq told the JC: “I’ll be honest and say there were some difficult conversations to be had with the Jewish community.

“But even those who said they could not vote Labour because of Jeremy Corbyn – they were sensible enough not to tar everyone with the party with the same brush.

“And what was quite telling was, two days before the election, I went around and spoke with parents outside schools in the area.

“At a couple primary schools there were Jewish mothers who were saying: ‘Of course we are extremely bothered about Jeremy Corbyn and continued examples of antisemitism within Labour – but we are also bothered about the effect of the cuts that are hitting the schools that my children are at’.

“At one school, Beckford Primary School, this group of mothers all agreed they could not vote for a Tory Party that was slashing £500 from every child at the school.”

Ms Siddiq said she would continue to demand action over antisemitism within Labour.

At her victory speech on Friday, Ms Siddiq openly addressed issues involving the Jewish community that, she said, “we still need to work through.”

Speaking to the JC she added: “I will say this publically – we have got to talk about expelling Ken Livingstone.

“We need to resolve the continued fact that many with the Jewish community still view Labour as a party that tolerates antisemitism

“I despair about the fact that this has still not been resolved.

“After the [Chakrabarti] report was done most of the community, including myself who is not even Jewish, felt that it had not been done properly.

“We need an independent review and inquiry into antisemitism. There are answers that we still need.”

But Ms Siddiq – who stood down from Labour’s shadow front bench to vote against triggering Article 50 -  said she would not have enjoyed the majority she did last Thursday without the impact of Mr Corbyn’s campaign.

She said: “Jeremy far exceeded expectations.

“I do not think I would have got the majority I did without with the young volunteers on the ground who enthused by what Jeremy stood for.

“We had 1,000 young people out on the ground in Hampstead and Kilburn on election day, while the Tories only had 100.

“We were knocking on doors in places in Frognal and Hampstead that we never normally get to. You have got to give credit where credit is due – Jeremy Corbyn mobilised these young people.

“I have never seen that kind of volunteering in my political career before.”

But Ms Siddiq added:”I still intend to challenge the leadership on the issues I think that need to be engaged in.

“No matter what happened last Thursday – we are still not in government.  I want to be part of a party that can actively bring about change in the country.”


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