Lib Dem can­di­date shaken by Charedi

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY MAR­CUS DYSCH PO­LIT­I­CAL ED­I­TOR

A STRICTLY Ortho­dox Jew stand­ing to be mayor of Manch­ester has been at­tacked by his Lib­eral Demo­crat ri­val for not shak­ing hands with her.

Jane Bro­phy sug­gested Ukip’s Sh­neur Odze was un­suited to the po­si­tion of mayor be­cause he could not treat women with “equal re­spect”.

Mr Odze avoids con­tact with women un­der re­li­gious mod­esty laws, and did not shake hands with Ms Bro­phy when meet­ing her along­side other can­di­dates, in­clud­ing Labour’s Andy Burn­ham and Tory Sean An­stee.

Ms Bro­phy told the au­di­ence at the hus­tings in Manch­ester: “Per­son­ally, it shocked me. I’m sure he’s a lovely gen­tle­man, but when I met him for the first time he shook Andy’s hand, he shook Sean’s hand, but he didn’t shake my hand.

“I think if you’re stand­ing for a po­si­tion then re­li­gion shouldn’t come into it. I should be treated equally as a woman, as a can­di­date, as ev­ery­body here.”

A man in the au­di­ence shouted: “Is that what the Lib­eral Democrats are say­ing? Be­cause he’s an Ortho­dox

Jew his faith shouldn’t count?”

Ukip’s Sh­neur Odze Ms Bro­phy re­sponded: “If you’re go­ing to stand for the po­si­tion of elected mayor, you need to treat peo­ple with equal re­spect. Of course, within his com­mu­nity, that is for their com­mu­nity to de­cide how to treat peo­ple in­di­vid­u­ally, but I’m not from his com­mu­nity and I think I should be treated equally as a woman.” Her com­ments were loudly ap­plauded by the au­di­ence.

Mr Odze told the JC that while some peo­ple ques­tion his de­ci­sion not to shake hands with women, “none have yet been so di­vi­sive to sug­gest ‘some’ peo­ple have no place in pub­lic life. “I’m not sure who else she wishes to ex­clude from pub­lic life but I sug­gest she start with her­self. Af­ter all, how can she claim to rep­re­sent par­ents of chil­dren in Greater Manch­ester’s faiths schools?”

On Tues­day Ms Bro­phy said: “I have com­plete re­spect for peo­ple of all re­li­gions, but if Mr Odze doesn’t want to shake a woman can­di­date’s hand, then he shouldn’t shake any can­di­date’s hand.

“In a fair and tol­er­ant so­ci­ety, a can­di­date from any party, and none, all gen­ders, and none, should be treated equally and fairly. And in this sit­u­a­tion, I don’t be­lieve I was.”

The elec­tion takes place on May 4.

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