‘We can have faith in Mayor Sadiq’ – Rabbi backs Khan to solve Labour’s anti-Semitism issues

PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 May 2016

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan arrives at City Hall in London, on his first day as mayor. Picture: PA/Stefan Rousseau

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan arrives at City Hall in London, on his first day as mayor. Picture: PA/Stefan Rousseau

PA/Press Association Images

Two of Redbridge’s senior rabbis hope that new Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is the man to tackle Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis.

Prior to the elections synagogues were abuzz with discussion of Ken Livingstone’s comments on Hitler and Zionism

Rabbi Aryeh Sufrin, of the Chabad Lubavitch centre in Gants Hill, said: “It cast a dark cloud, everybody was appalled, it was nothing short of anti-Semitism.”

Some Jewish Labour supporters within Redbridge reportedly did not vote, and Ilford North MP Wes Streeting believed Mr Livingstone’s comments cost the party the borough’s seat on the Greater London Assembly.

But Rabbi Alex Chapper told the Recorder he believed Mr Khan “genuinely wants to be a mayor for all Londoners.”

The head of Ilford Federation Synagogue explained: “The fact the new Mayor’s first appointment was to the Holocaust memorial, that’s a positive step.”

After being elected in the early hours of Saturday morning Mr Khan promised to be a “mayor for all Londoners”.

Rabbi Chapper continued: “He’s started with a strong message and I think the Jewish community can have faith in him.”

Rabbi Suffrin added: “We would like to think to we can be confident in Mr Khan, it is a new experience for the whole of London.”

The borough’s Islamic community hailed the election of the first Muslim mayor of a Western capital.

Bashir Chaudhry, chairman of Redbridge Islamic Centre, said: “The majority of Muslims are very happy.

“But it is important he is not just a Muslim mayor, he must be for all people and faiths.

“He has to fulfil his promises and protect the communities who have worries and fears.”

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