MP wants fund to pay for Scottish shul security


A Scottish MP has called on First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to re-establish a fund to protect synagogues across the country.

Ken Macintosh, Scottish Labour's shadow social justice spokesperson, commended the JC on its Save Our Shuls campaign, which he said prompted him to write to Mrs Sturgeon.

The £1m fund to protect religious minorities, which was implemented in 2002 after the 9/11 attacks on New York, was in place for only a year.

Mr Macintosh, who since 1999 has represented Eastwood - part of East Renfrewshire, which contains the largest Jewish community in Scotland - said: "It's important that people all over the country take action to reassure the Jewish community that their safety is in our thoughts."

In the letter to Ms Sturgeon, the MSP wrote that "a spike in the number of antisemitic incidents being reported in Scotland is particularly worrying".

In response, the Scottish government said there were no plans to re-establish the 2002 fund. A spokesperson said the Scottish police force had "taken extra steps to reassure communities that they will remain safe and we are confident that they have robust plans in place to protect all places of worship in Scotland".

Labour MP John Mann has written to David Cameron asking for a meeting to discuss enhancing security for the Jewish community.

Mr Mann chairs the All-Party Inquiry into Antisemitism which made the recommendation of a fund for synagogue security in the report the group published last month.

In his letter he wrote: "Specifically, I am concerned about the protection of synagogues and other community buildings."

Downing Street has yet to respond.

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