Gold­smith out to stop ‘weird’ Labour

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY MAR­CUS DYSCH

ZAC GOLD­SMITH, the Con­ser­va­tive can­di­date for the Lon­don may­oral elec­tion, has called Labour “ag­gres­sively ex­treme” with its leader Jeremy Cor­byn rep­re­sent­ing a “real dan­ger” to the Jewish com­mu­nity and the coun­try.

Mr Gold­smith, whose late father Sir James Gold­smith and grand­fa­ther were Jewish, will take on Labour can­di­date Sadiq Khan in May.

The Tory MP for Rich­mond Park and North Kingston be­lieved that Labour was “in a weird place”.

Speak­ing to the JC, he said: “It has be­come so ag­gres­sively ex­treme on so many dif­fer­ent lev­els. To have a Leader of the Op­po­si­tion, a po­ten­tial Prime Min­is­ter-in-wait­ing, re­fer to Hizbol­lah, Ha­mas and the IRA as friends, is gen­uinely wor­ry­ing.

“It’s pos­si­ble that in four years you could have Jeremy Cor­byn as Prime Min­is­ter, and five years of govern­ment so un­friendly to cer­tain el­e­ments of the com­mu­nity, and so hos­tile to busi­ness and with such a skewed view of the big in­ter­na­tional is­sues and co­nun­drums we face. I think that’s a gen­uine threat and no one should be com­pla­cent.”

Mr Gold­smith said Mr Khan was “one of the key ar­chi­tects of what has hap­pened to the Labour Party” hav­ing nom­i­nated Mr Cor­byn to be leader and helped run for­mer leader Ed Miliband’s gen­eral elec­tion cam­paign last year.

The Tories had be­come “al­most in­sep­a­ra­ble” from the Jewish com­mu­nity dur­ing the same pe­riod, Mr Gold­smith claimed.

“I don’t think any­one can be in any doubt about the Con­ser­va­tive Party be­ing a friend of Is­rael. We have seen that through ac­tual in­ter­ven­tions — money for the Com­mu­nity Se­cu­rity Trust, a recog­ni­tion of the threat the com­mu­nity faces — but it goes much deeper than that as well. There’s a re­ally solid, pos­i­tive and good re­la­tion­ship and it will en­dure.”

While re­la­tions be­tween Labour and Bri­tish Jews have de­te­ri­o­rated in the past five years, Mr Gold­smith said he was not com­pla­cent about se­cur­ing sup­port from the com­mu­nity.

“I’m not tak­ing any votes for granted at all. I have my work cut out. It’s go­ing to be very tough. I ac­cept I started on the back foot and things have taken longer. But my in­volve­ment with the Jewish com­mu­nity has been very solid and hope­fully mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial.”

Mr Gold­smith de­scribed as “stom­ach-churn­ing” the in­ci­dent at King’s Col­lege Lon­don last week in which a lecture was halted af­ter a protest by anti-Is­rael ac­tivists turned vi­o­lent.

He said: “They crossed the line. Win­dows were bro­ken. Peo­ple were made to feel ter­ri­fied. I’ve heard peo­ple make ref­er­ence to what hap­pened in Ger­many 70 years ago with shards of glass shattering and so on.”

He added: “Peo­ple shouldn’t feel threat­ened in Lon­don… Broadly speak­ing it’s a model of work­ing di­ver­sity, but that re­quires peo­ple of ev­ery com­mu­nity to feel safe at all times.”

I’mnot tak­ing anyvotes for granted. I have­my­work cut out. It will­be­tough

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.