Susan Hall: 'I will not apologise for standing up for Jewish Londoners'

The Conservative Mayor of London candidate hit back at her critics amid a furore over her claim that Sadiq Khan’s 'divisive attitude' leaves Jews 'frightened'


Susan Hall has hit back at her critics amid a furore over her claim that Sadiq Khan’s “divisive attitude” leaves Jews “frightened”, saying that she will not apologise for “standing up” for Jewish Londoners.     

The Conservative London mayoral candidate made the comments, which were criticised by the Board of Deputies, during the Conservative party conference in Manchester. 

Asked about the claim on Sky News, Hall said it had been “misinterpreted”, adding: "I said Jewish people are frightened on our streets and I will never apologise for standing up for our Jewish community.”

The London Assembly member later told GB News the claim was in context of policing. She said: “The way that policing is in London, so many Jewish people do not feel safe. That’s wrong and so I will never apologise for defending the Jewish community. 

“I’ve got so many [Jewish] friends that are literally talking about leaving the country because they don’t feel safe. That is unacceptable in London.”

Asked if those friends were Jewish, she added: "Yes. Yes, going to Israel. It shouldn't be in that state.” Referring to antisemitic incidents, she said: “Since Sadiq Khan has taken over, these sort of attacks have doubled - literally doubled, over 1,000 or around about 1,000 this year… but that's not good enough."

Last night, in a speech at a Conservative Friends of Israel event, she said: “I live in north London and I know the wealth and joy of the [Jewish] community.

"But I tell you something else, I know how frightened some of the community is because of the divisive attitudes of Sadiq Khan.

"One of the most important things we can do when I become mayor of London is make it safer for everybody, but particularly for our Jewish community.

"So I will ask for as much help as I can in London because we need to defeat him, particularly for our Jewish community."

The Board of Deputies said Khan had treated the London Jewish community “with friendship and respect” during his time as Mayor. 

In a statement, they added: “We hope to co-host the key Mayoral candidates at a 2024 Jewish hustings, where it will be clear that while London Jews may have varying political views, there is no fear present at all.”

When asked what he thought of Hall's comments, Mr Khan told LBC he’ll continue to be “a Mayor for all Londoners”.

He added: “What I would say to anybody who aspires to be the mayor of this great city is you should believe diversity brings strength, not weakness. You should believe it makes us stronger, not weaker, richer not poorer.

"I’m somebody who believes quite passionately that we don’t tolerate different communities, we should respect them, celebrate them, and embrace them.

"I say that in the context not just of Black History Month, but it will be Diwali in a few weeks’ time as well and every year I celebrate Hannukah with the Jewish community as well.

"It’s for Susan Hall to explain her remarks, whether it’s a megaphone or a dog whistle. I’m going to carry on being the Mayor for all Londoners.”

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting called Hall’s claim “divisive and disgusting”. Streeting said: “Sadiq Khan has repeatedly stood by London's Jewish communities in the fight against antisemitism.

“Susan Hall's dog whistle politics have no place in London. Will decent Conservatives ever call this out?"

Meanwhile, Jewish Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge urged Hall to retract her remarks.

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