Boris’s bus makes some pop­u­lar stops

The Jewish Chronicle - - Community - BY JEN­NIFER LIP­MAN

THE CON­SEN­SUS among those who turned out to sup­port Boris John­son as his elec­tion bat­tle-bus toured north­west London on Sun­day was that London’s Mayor should be backed to pre­vent the re­turn of Ken Liv­ing­stone.

Plat­ters of bagels and Dan­ish pas­tries were thrust to­wards Mr John­son as the bus trav­elled through Stan­more, Edg­ware, Hen­don and Gold­ers Green. Cam­eras were read­ied for any photo op­por­tu­nity and Boris T-shirts worn with pride.

Many were in­trigued by the prospect of meet­ing “Boris the per­sonal- ity” on the Con­ser­va­tive Friends of Is­rael-or­gan­ised tour.

But although the Mayor at­tempted to fo­cus on his key cam­paign is­sues — trans­port strat­egy, his plans for ap­pren­tice­ships and af­ford­able hous­ing, and his hopes for the Olympic legacy — those on board and in kosher shops and cafes along the route were less con­cerned with pol­icy.

Mr John­son’s sup­port­ers — many who had never pre­vi­ously cam­paigned for a can­di­date — high­lighted Mr Liv­ing­stone’s re­marks about wealthy Jews not back­ing Labour.

They called for a mayor who would deal with the cap­i­tal’s needs, not one who weighed in on the Arab-is­raeli con­flict.

“Boris brings a type of se­cu­rity and vi­sion that we need, as op­posed to the other can­di­date,” said Hen­don Syn­a­gogue chair­man Marc Meyer. “It feels like we’re in safe hands, with a bit of ex­cite­ment.”

Stan­more Syn­a­gogue’s Rabbi Men­del Lew said the Jewish com­mu­nity knew where it stood with Mr John­son. “We know that he will con­tinue to present us in a good light.”

“I don’t re­ally like the al­ter­na­tive,” said Ol­lie An­is­feld. “Ken likes to di­vide peo­ple. He’s a man with a lot of bag­gage. He doesn’t seem to man­age his im­age in a way that makes peo­ple think they are in­cluded.”

“When Boris is in the pa­pers it is be­cause he is do­ing some­thing good,” added Mr An­is­feld’s friend, Nathaniel Green­wold. “I don’t see Ken in the public eye for pos­i­tive rea­sons.”

Hav­ing re­cently met Jewish vot­ers in Red­bridge and Stam­ford Hill, Mr John­son con­tin­ued his cam­paign push among the com­mu­nity at a London Jewish Forum break­fast on Tues­day, where he was pressed on is­sues rang­ing from the Chan­cel­lor’s con­tro­ver­sial plan to cap tax re­lief on char­i­ta­ble do­na­tions, to cy­cling pro­vi­sion in Bar­net.

The Mayor pledged to im­prove trans­port links be­tween Gold­ers Green and Stam­ford Hill through a re­view of the 210 and 73 bus routes.

“I hear a lot of cyn­i­cism,” he said. “Did we not de­liver [im­prove­ments] in Henly’s Corner?”

Re­mind­ing an ap­prov­ing au­di­ence about the “semi-reformed Marx­ists and bendy bus fa­nat­ics” he was up against, he asked: “Do you want to go for­ward with a mayor who be­lieves in unit­ing the city or go back to a mayor who plays peo­ple off against each other?”

The forum is hold­ing meet­ings with all the main may­oral can­di­dates.

A lot on his plate: Boris John­son is up for some re­fresh­ments at Buck­ing­ham Foods in Stan­more and mod­els head­gear ap­pro­pri­ate to many he met on the cam­paign trail in north London

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