London has not become a 'no-go zone' for Jews, Sadiq Khan insists, after warning from UK counter-terror official

11 March 2024, 19:11 | Updated: 11 March 2024, 19:30

Sadiq Khan (L) speaking to LBC's Andrew Marr on Monday
Sadiq Khan (L) speaking to LBC's Andrew Marr on Monday. Picture: LBC/Getty/Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

London has not become a "no-go zone" for Jewish people, the Mayor of London has told LBC, after a warning from a counter-terror official in the UK.

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Speaking exclusively to LBC's Andrew Marr, Sadiq Khan said: “It is the case that Jewish friends and colleagues are concerned in relation to an increase in anti-Semitism.”

“We have to accept there has been a massive increase in anti-Semitism since October 7,” he told LBC.

“Jewish friends of ours are scared to leave their homes because of their heightened fear. That is the experience of Jewish people and none of us should try and undermine that experience.”

But Mr Khan went on to insist that London had not become a no-go zone for Jews.

London has not become a 'no-go zone' for Jews, Sadiq Khan insists

“I don't think we should say...that London is a no-go area if you're Jewish, it isn't. Nobody should say that it is impossible to be Jewish and to be safe to go about your business in London, it's not the case.

“It is the case, though, that a small minority of people who protest on those Saturdays - and we have had hundreds of thousands, a small minority do use language that breaks the law. The police are clamping down on them.

“My point to protesters is park freedom of speech. Park that, park even that you're on this side of the law. Why are you using language that you know is causing concern, is causing upset, is leading to people not leaving their homes?

"Don't do it. You don't need to do it to make your point.”

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It comes after a counter-terrorism commissioner warned that the streets of central London have become a “no-go zone for Jews” due to the number of pro-Palestine protests taking place every weekend.

Writing in The Telegraph, Robin Simcox said that anti-Semitism had "skyrocketed" since Hamas' terror attack in Israel on October 7.

“Inflammatory and borderline criminal rhetoric widely shared on social media. A sense that the terrorism threat is rising,” wrote Simcox.

Tens of thousands of people are marching for a ceasefire now to 'stop the genocide' in Gaza
Tens of thousands of people are marching for a ceasefire now to 'stop the genocide' in Gaza. Picture: Alamy

“Protests becoming ever more vociferous, with ‘from the river to the sea’ beamed onto the side of Big Ben during a vote on Gaza. MPs more fearful for their safety than ever,” he continued.

Reform UK's leader, Richard Tice, took issue with this stance while also speaking to LBC's Andrew Marr this evening, as he accused the Mayor of "utter failure" where clamping down on anti-Semitic behaviour was concerned.

"The Jewish community, as Robin Simcox admits, are terrified of going out at the weekends and many of them are starting to think about leaving London," Mr Tice told LBC.

Sadiq Khan's message to those who attend Palestine protests in London at the weekends

"He is in charge of security in London and at the weekends, sadly - and we saw it again this Saturday - extreme activists, Islamist activists, are acting in an unlawful way on the streets of London.

"He has failed and he has to be held to account for that."