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Labour Candidate Faced “Difficult Conversations” With Jewish Voters During Election
26 September 2017, 15:00
The vice chair of the Jewish Labour Movement has revealed on LBC he faced “difficult conversation” on the doorsteps during the election with Jewish voters concerned about anti-Semitism surrounding the Labour Party.
Mike Katz stood as the parliamentary candidate in Hendon during June’s General Election - the second most Jewish seat in Britain.
Despite Labour dominating support in London, Mr Katz lost out by 1,000 votes as the Tories held on to the constituency.
Speaking to Shelagh Fogarty from the Labour Conference in Brighton, Mr Katz implied that some Jewish voters were put off voting Labour because of accusations of anti-semitism linked with the party.
He told LBC: “If you look at the general swing to Labour across the capital it was around 10 per cent. In Hendon it was 4.5 per cent.
“I would by lying if I didn’t tell you that my team and I had some difficult conversations on the doorstep with Jewish voters who had always been Labour and always supported Labour values.
“There is so much intrinsically linked between, in my mind, the social justice that Labour calls for and the social justice that is embedded in Jewish families.”
The Equalities and Human Rights Commission says Labour needs to do more to show that it isn't a racist party.
It follows reports of anti-Semitic comments at a fringe event at Labour's conference last night.
Speakers reportedly compared Israel to Nazi Germany, and questioned whether the Holocaust happened.
Labour says it condemns anti-Semitism in the "strongest possible terms" with new rules recently agreed by the party's ruling executive committee.
These changes will be voted on by delegates at conference on Tuesday.