Ukip and Green Party can tip the balance in Hendon


They sit at opposite ends of the political spectrum, but the rejection of mainstream politics by Ukip and the Green Party has garnered more national coverage ahead of this election than ever before.

Two Jewish candidates are looking to attract disillusioned voters in Hendon with some eye-catching policies.

Ukip candidate Jeremy Zeid, a full-time decorator and father of two, is a former Tory councillor. He is considering using £1,500 of his retirement fund to fuel his campaign.

If elected, the Kenton United Synagogue member plans to fix potholes, improve rates for small businesses and reduce the size of Barnet Council, which he said he "would not trust to run a bath".

Mr Zeid believes he could attract voters from both the Conservatives and Labour. He wants to reduce property prices - a Hendon property currently valued at £450,000 should be marketed between £150,000 and £200,000, he said.

"That's my biggest concern. I think Hendon being a high-value area is a bad thing," he said.

"A lot of young people are leaving the borough and going to places like Borehamwood because they cannot afford houses in Hendon. Rent is astronomical in the area."

How would he impose this policy? By banning foreigners from buying property in Britain.

Mr Zeid admitted he was disappointed with the decision of Ukip's national executives to ban non-stun slaughter, branding them "idiots".

He believes the anti-shechita move will lose him votes among Jewish residents - but despite an earlier pledge to quit if the party banned religious slaughter, he is going nowhere.

"I could have stepped down, but that's the coward's way out. I've made my bed," he said.

Mr Zeid believes he has an "outside chance" of being elected. "If the people of Hendon are lunatic enough to want me, I'll be there."

Green Party candidate Ben Samuel is a former pupil at Maida Vale's Naima Jewish Preparatory School. The part-time gardener is fighting for the living wage.

He once blew a shofar at a Green protest.

Over a shnitzel lunch in Golders Green, Mr Samuel explained: "Blowing the shofar is a call to action, it is like saying to the community, 'be brave'.

"I think when there is an increased risk of antisemitism there should be more security outside schools," he said. "It should be funded by getting more volunteers and not cutting police.

"I think there should be more women volunteering on security duty. That is a really positive thing. It also engages young people in the community, it gets people to enjoy the great outdoors, and it gets people along to shul."

Mr Samuel, a supporter of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, said he was "uncomfortable" with many Green members backing boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.

"There is good BDS, there are good ways of doing it and there are bad ways." Pushed further on Israel, he changed the topic.

They may have an alternative approach, but both candidates pose a threat to the mainstream parties by splitting the vote in the UK's eighth most marginal constituency.

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