‘Action not words’ needed on crime
A CONSERVATIVE hopeful for London mayor has accused Sadiq Khan of failing to take action to properly “defend” the capital’s Jewish community against rising antisemitism.
Shaun Bailey, a former youth worker who is favourite to land the nomination to stand in 2020, is openly critical of the current mayor’s failure to manage the £3 billion-a-year police budget.
He told the JC: “The truth is it’s very easy to say nice things. But it is what you do that really matters. The fact that the mayor has not properly intervened with the antisemitism row involving his party leader Jeremy Corbyn actually shows that he’s doing next to nothing.
“If you are serious and really want to include people, that just doesn’t mean tolerating them, it means batting for them.
“If Sadiq wants to say that he is fully supporting the Jewish community, he has to openly come out against antisemitism.”
Mr Bailey, a former advisor to David Cameron and a self-declared ‘One Nation’ Tory, acknowledged Mr Khan had been willing to attend communal events such as the annual Chanukah candle lighting in Trafalgar Square.
On announcing Mr Khan as the guest speaker at this year’s Board of Deputies dinner, President Marie van der Zyl said he had “been very supportive of our community”.
She also commended him for “speaking out on Labour’s antisemitism crisis and calling for the proscription of Hezbollah. Nobody will forget that Sadiq’s very first engagement as Mayor [in 2016] was to attend the community’s Yom Hashoah commemoration.”
He was also amongst the leading politicians who sent Rosh Hashanah greetings messages to the community on Twitter last weekend.
But Mr Bailey remains critical of Mr Khan’s management of police funding in the capital — and the wider impact this has on security for the community.
“We spend £3 billion a year on policing in London,” he said. “The idea that we are not spending enough is not true. The mayor has no focus on this.
“He’s not helpless on policing — he’s clueless on policing.
“I have a costed plan that could deliver 1,000 extra officers today with no extra money.
“The Jewish community have traditionally had to do a lot of their own security. We need to continue supporting those groups, not only financially, but also to make sure they are supported by the police from a training point of view.”
Mr Bailey, 46, who grew up in north Kensington and is a practicing Christian, insisted: “We have a large Jewish community in London who are dependent on being defended through political action.
“If we don’t defend the Jewish community in this situation, then who is next?
“I actually think the community can benefit by having other voices speak up on its behalf, which is what I intend to do.
“I happen to be of Jamaican descent — and I made the case regarding the Windrush generation issue, saying what needed to be said and pushing the government in different ways.
“It’s also why I will come out and defend Jewish people, Muslim people, the right of all people to have religious freedom.
“What you have to do is show that you will defend everyone who does need to be defended.”
A spokesperson for Sadiq Khan said: “The truth is that Sadiq has consistently and loudly spoken out against antisemitism, both in the Labour Party and across London. He adopted the full IHRA at City Hall and has repeatedly called on the Labour Party to do the same. He has consistently called for swifter action to expel anyone who says or does anything antisemitic from the Labour Party.”
He is not helpless on policing - he is clueless on policing’
Adviser: Shaun Bailey with David Cameron