Peer and van man who are set to be Cameron's key figures

Lord Feldman and Robert Halfon will be powerful voices in the new government


They may have very different political styles, but two Jewish Tories will be among the most influential figures steering the Conservative Party.

One is David Cameron's Oxford University contemporary and tennis partner, the other is the champion of so-called White Can Conservatism.

Lord Feldman and Harlow MP Robert Halfon will lead Conservative central office as party chairman and deputy chairman respectively. Their promotions mean David Cameron's love affair with the Jewish community is likely to continue well into the new Parliament.

Andrew Feldman co-chaired the Tories five years ago, before giving way to Grant Shapps, who was demoted this week.

Ennobled in 2010, Lord Feldman has been described by David Cameron as one of his "oldest and best friends". The pair have previously been said to be "wedded together" following their time at Oxford.

Throughout the election campaign the former Haberdashers' Aske's' pupil was rarely far from Mr Cameron and the party's inner circle, and only last week was watching from the wings as the Prime Minister campaigned in Hendon, north-west London.

Affiliated to the Reform movement, Lord Feldman has helped a range of Jewish charities including Jewish Care - his family are well-known supporters of its work.

While he rarely speaks in the Lords, the peer used his maiden speech to recall how his great-grandparents fled "pogroms and persecution" in eastern Europe to settle in the East End.

His first experience of the business world was in the family clothing firm, Jayroma, where he was chief executive until moving full-time to Tory HQ. The Westminster Synagogue member is married to Gaby Gourgey - the couple have three children.

In 2003, two years after Mr Cameron became an MP, Lord Feldman travelled with him to Macedonia on a business delegation. The pair saw an England football international together in Skopje. Two years later Lord Feldman helped co-ordinate his friend's Tory leadership campaign.

Mr Halfon, who was re-elected as Harlow MP, substantially increasing his majority, will attend cabinet meetings as minister without portfolio. He beamed on Monday as he made his way along Downing Street on his crutches - he was born with a form of cerebral palsy.

His promotion follows a rapid rise through the Tory ranks and has been attributed to his instinctive understanding of how Conservatism can work for working people.

From a family of Italian Jews who fled Libya to become fruit and vegetable wholesalers in London, Mr Halfon was hailed for his crusades for lower petrol prices and free hospital parking in the last Parliament.

During the election campaign the former political director of Conservative Friends of Israel spent hours each day sitting by the side of busy roads in his constituency with placards, urging voters to send him back to the Commons.

He has worked tirelessly to increase employment and apprenticeships as well as to boost the NHS.

A member of the Central Synagogue, in London's Great Portland Street, the Hampstead-raised MP travelled to Rwanda seven years ago to teach English to school children.

Now a key figure in Mr Cameron's team, his future could be even brighter if George Osborne becomes the party's next leader - the Chancellor last year made him his PPS.

Read our full Election 2015 coverage here

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