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Labour candidate launches Finchley and Golders Green campaign with pledge on education

Jeremy Newmark says he will fight school cuts and back a referendum on Brexit terms

    Jeremy Newmark, the Labour candidate for Finchley and Golders Green, has claimed government cuts to education funding threaten 12 teaching posts at Jewish secondary school JCoSS.

    Launching his election campaign on Monday night, Mr Newmark promised to make education a "priority" and emphasised his commitment to improving schools by quoting former Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks, for whom he once worked.

    The Jewish Labour Movement chair also pledged to call for a "confirmation referendum" on the terms of Britain's Brexit deal if elected as MP next month. 

    Speaking to a packed audience at a venue in Finchley, Mr Newmark said:" I will campaign tirelessly to make education funding a real priority.

    "Under this Tory government schools in Barnet are threatened with budget reductions of up to £500 per pupil. 

    "One local Primary school would lose £1,70000 - the equivalent to four teaching posts.

    "A secondary level school like JCoSS would lose half a million pounds - the equivalent to 12 teaching posts. Devastating.

    "This is why we are supporting a fairer funding for schools campaign over the coming weeks, to press this point home. 

    "As my former boss Lord Sacks was fond of saying: 'To defend an country you need an army. To defend a civilisation you need schools'.

    Stressing how the constituency had voted solidly Remain in last year's Brexit referendum, he said: "Let me be very clear, when we win this election and I'm in Parliament I will call for a confirmation referendum on the terms of any final deal.

    "Last year's vote may have allowed the Prime Minister to start the ignition but it didn't give her permission to drive the car off the edge of the cliff."

    Earlier on Monday, Sarah Sackman, Labour's candidate in the constituency in the 2015 electon, delivered a similar anti-Brexit message. 

    She told the JC:"I am utterly depressed when I look at the state of our politics. 

    "I am utterly depressed when I look at Brexit and everything that symbolises.

    "Turning our back on the world, retreating into a 1950s style little England view of our country. 

    "I say this as a Labour person, and I say this as a citizen. 

    "I feel diminished when I see what this government is doing to this country. 

    "I see us turning our backs on child refugees and starving our schools and the NHS of the funding they need."

    Mr Newmark is aiming to topple Conservative Mike Freer, who won the seat in 2015 with a 5,662 majority.

    Jonathan Davies is standing for the Lib Dems and Adele Ward for the Greens in the constituency, where 21.1 per cent of the electorate is Jewish.  

    See all our Election 2017 coverage here

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