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Chief Rabbi will not 'dignify' George Galloway's candidacy by meeting him, spokesman says

Exclusive: George Galloway would be “honoured” to meet Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, his spokesman has told the JC.

    George Galloway would be “honoured” to meet Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, his spokesman has told the JC.

    But a spokesman for the head of the United Synagogue said there was "no chance" the rabbi would meet the former Respect party MP.

    Mr Galloway, who is a long-standing anti-Israel activist , is currently campaigning to succeed Boris Johnson as the next Mayor of London.

    Making the comments after the Chief Rabbi met fellow mayoral candidates Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith on Tuesday, a spokesman for Mr Galloway said: “Mr Galloway is always happy to meet religious and community leaders and would of course be honoured to meet the Chief Rabbi.”

    In response, a spokesperson for the Chief Rabbi said: “If Mr Galloway would genuinely like to meet the Chief Rabbi – a remark to a journalist strikes me as an odd way of trying to achieve it. You’ll have to forgive me for doubting the sincerity of this spokesman."

    Rabbi Mirvis' representative added: “There is no chance that the Chief Rabbi would dignify Mr Galloway’s candidacy for Mayor of London by meeting him.”

    Mr Galloway, 61, described the reaction as a "poor show".

    He later tweeted: "Maybe they hoped for a different response. And are refusing to take yes for an answer.

    "A poor show though".

    On Tuesday afternoon, Rabbi Mirvis welcomed to his home Labour’s Tooting MP Mr Khan and Mr Goldsmith, the Conservative MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston. They discussed issues facing the Jewish community in London.

    Mayoral candidates for the Liberal Democrats, Green Party, Ukip and Respect told the JC on Wednesday that they too would look to sit down with Rabbi Mirvis.

    A spokesman for Lib Dem candidate Caroline Pidgeon confirmed that she would seek a meeting with Rabbi Mirvis.

    The spokesman said: “Ms Pidgeon’s campaign is keen to engage in dialogue with all London’s faith communities and we acknowledge that there are issues affecting the Jewish communities that deserve particular attention from people wishing to become Mayor of London.”

    Green candidate Sian Berry “would be delighted to meet [Rabbi Mirvis],” a spokesman said, adding: “She is very keen to meet any member of the Jewish community to get a better understanding of issues of concern to them.”

    Ms Pidgeon and Ms Berry would both meet representatives of the London Jewish Forum ahead of the mayoral election, their spokesmen confirmed.

    A representative for Ukip said his party’s mayor candidate, Peter Whittle, would also be happy to engage with the community and Rabbi Mirvis, adding that Ukip was supportive of the Jewish community.

    He added: "Mr Whittle has not met the Chief Rabbi but will be asking to do so in the near future."

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