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SJ quizzes candidates

Last updated: 2004-06-01

London Elects

London Elects

London's mayoral candidates talk to SomethingJewish

Exclusive email interviews reveal where candidates stand on issues of concern to the Jewish community
 
1 June 2004 - As London goes to the ballot box on June 10 to vote for a new mayor, an exclusive series of email interviews with all the mayoral candidates was conducted by SomethingJewish (www.somethingjewish.co.uk), the UK's leading Jewish web site.
 
 
SomethingJewish invited all the candidates to respond to a series of questions about where they stand on general as well as specific issues of concern to the Jewish community.
 
"Jewish Londoners voting need to know more about what the candidates stand for," said SomethingJewish editor Leslie Bunder. "So we thought it was important to ask them directly where they stand on various issues from anti-semitism and the issue of kosher food through to their views on the situation in Israel.  These are all issues that SomethingJewish readers care about and we are pleased that 80% of the candidates took the time to talk with us. As well as the serious questions, we also got an insight into what Jewish food they liked and it seems that despite all their differences many are united on their love of salt beef and falafel."
 
Each candidate was given 10 questions to answer from how they will do to curb anti-semitsm through to what is their favourite jewish food is.
 
Out of 10 candidates seeking to become the next mayor of London, only two did not respond despite three attempts to get them to answer the questions.
 
The candidates were:
 
Lindsey German - Respect - The Unity Coalition
Ram Gidoomal - Christian Peoples Alliance
Simon Hughes - Liberal Democrats
Darren Johnson - Green Party
Julian Leppert - British National Party (has not responded to questions)
Ken Livingstone - The Labour Party
Frank Maloney - UK Independence Party
Dr Tammy Nagalingam - Independent (has not responded to questions)
Steve Norris - Conservative
Lorna Reid - Independent Working Class Association
 

Some of the answers include:
 
Ken Livingstone: What steps will you take to ensure that the rising tide of anti-Semitism is curbed?
I want to protect Jewish communities from attack and help educate young people – and adults – about Jewish culture and contribution of Jewish people to London.  I’ll continue to work with the police and to promote tolerance, equalities and antiracism.
 
Steve Norris:  What will you do to help facilitate better relations between ethnic and religious groups in London?
As Mayor, I will ensure that I will be able to consult with and call upon for advice the leaders of the different ethnic and religious groups in London. Together we will be able to support activities that strengthen the relations between Londoners from different backgrounds.
 
Simon Hughes: Why should Jewish Londoners vote for you?
 
For exactly the same reason that I would like all Londoners to vote for me. I am committed to working for a London United for all of its different communities. As mayor, I would actively support the community, in terms of its culture and the security of its members.
I am deeply concerned about the CST's report that showed a 15% rise in anti-semitic incidents in 2003. This situation cannot be tolerated.
 
Darren Johnson: If elected mayor what would you do to help promote Jewish culture in London?
 
The Green Party is a strong proponent of the theory that diversity enriches all societies. In view of this one of the initiatives that I will be pushing for is a Museum of Immigration. It would be set up in order to highlight the cultural contributions that all the diverse ethnic migrant communities have brought to London over the centuries
 
Ram Gidoomal : What do you understand about Jewish life and culture and the contribution Jews have made to London life?
 
I appreciate the contribution, because I value the cultural diversity of London to which Jews have contributed so much. I am struck by the often remarkable similarities between the experiences of the London Jewish community and my own Sindhi community – something that I noticed first when watching Fiddler on the Roof.
 
The full interviews can be found at:
 
 
For more information on SomethingJewish, contact:
 
Leslie Bunder
 
tel: 07976 220273
 
About SomethingJewish
 
SomethingJewish is the inclusive Jewish web site for everyone. SomethingJewish offers a mix of arts, entertainment and lifestyle features coupled with news, directories and other useful information to provide a useful and informative guide to UK Jewish life.