With bagels and kip­pah, Boris goes na­tive in NW11

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS -

THE BE­LIEF that a suc­cess­ful politi­cian re­quires a cast-iron stom­ach was given cre­dence by Lon­don may­oral can­di­date Boris John­son as he bat­tled to win Jewish votes in North-West Lon­don on Sun­day.

Ap­pear­ing just a touch queasy, the Tory chal­lenger to Ken Liv­ing­stone told an ador­ing crowd that he had “never eaten so much salt beef and so many bagels in my life”.

It seemed that food, rather than pol- itics, was the main item on the menu as Mr John­son’s bagel-laden bat­tle­bus pro­gressed from kosher restau­rant to kosher restau­rant in the Jewish heart­land of North-West Lon­don.

At Bloom’s in Edg­ware, his earnest min­ders, some adorned in “Back Boris” T-shirts, fought a los­ing bat­tle to win him some pri­vacy as he tucked into salt-beef sand­wiches and latkes in front of TV cam­eras which recorded ev­ery munch and swal­low.

“Give him a dou­ble por­tion. He de­serves it,” laughed one fel­low diner. But Mr John­son, ever the politi­cian, left Bloom’s, clam­bered heav­ily on to a chair and burnt some calo­ries at­tack­ing the mayor’s “sleazy” ad­min­is­tra­tion.

This struck a chord with some in his au­di­ence, one of whom loudly de­clared: “Liv­ing­stone is a mon­ster. My clean­ing lady could do a bet­ter job.”

Oth­ers, how­ever, seemed a lit­tle be­mused. “Isn’t that Boris?” asked a kip­pah-wearer. “Yes, isn’t he won­der­ful?” one of the can­di­date’s ret­inue bur­bled. But he wasn’t per­suaded. “Politi­cians, they are all the same,” he said.

Af­ter au­to­graphs, it was on to Hen­don, where for the first time there were signs that Boris was not nec­es­sar­ily the flavour of the month.

“Down with Boris,” chanted a group of drinkers out­side a Brent Street pub, as the can­di­date’s pro­ces­sion led him in­ex­orably to yet an­other kosher es­tab­lish­ment, Orli’s cof­fee shop.

“Ooh, isn’t he a nice boy,” gushed one wo­man ob­vi­ously daz­zled by the can­di­date’s blond mop. Owner Orli Avi­tal had a more pro­saic rea­son for sup­port­ing the Tory. “I’ll vote for him be­cause he likes us,” she growled.

Fur­ther up Brent Street was yet an­other chal­lenge to Mr John­son’s di­ges­tion as he en­tered the gi­gan­tic Mr Baker’s bak­ery and cof­fee shop. A bagel and a slurp of cof­fee later, and it was off to Gold­ers Green.

There he met the owner of kosher Chi­nese restau­rant Met Su Yan, who of­fered him a free meal if he beat Mr Liv­ing­stone. But a free meal seemed to be the last thing on the can­di­date’s mind. BERNARD JOSEPHS

John­son with kosher cof­fee in hand

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.