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A December election is now likely after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn agreed on Tuesday to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plea to hold one.

According to a recent poll, 78 percent of British Jewry prefer a no-deal Brexit to opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn becoming prime minister. A Survation poll found only seven percent of Jews would vote Labour under Corbyn. If a new leader takes Labour, 42 percent of Jews would vote for the party.


Rabbi Arnold Saunders, a Salford councillor who is hoping to run for Parliament, told The Jewish Press, “Because Corbyn is now definitely leading Labour into the election, it should benefit the Conservatives. It will certainly help them in Jewish areas.”

He added, “If the election had not been till the spring, it is possible [Corbyn] would have retired or been ousted by then.”


Shomer Shabbat MP To Run As an Independent

The British MP Ivan Lewis harshly criticizing Jeremy Corbyn in Parliament in September.

Ivan Lewis MP, who resigned from Labour over anti-Semitism in its midst, has announced that he will stand as an independent candidate in Bury South, which has a fast-growing Jewish population. He has represented the area for 22 years.

Lewis, who has recently become Shomer Shabbat and started wearing his yarmulke in Parliament, wrote on Facebook: “It’s a source of immense sadness to me that Corbyn’s extremism and the scourge of anti-Semitism has destroyed the Labour Party that I once loved.”


Labor Candidates Play With Anti-Semitism

The Labour anti-Semitism crisis continues to rumble on.

Apsana Begun, who shared a Facebook post suggesting Saudi Arabian leaders were “inspired by their Zionist masters,” was selected as Labour candidate for London’s safe Labour seat of Poplar and Limehouse.

Meanwhile, Corrie Drew, Labour candidate for Bournemouth East, sent a message of commiseration to Colin Monehem, who was removed from consideration to represent Epping Forest for Labour last week. He had defended an image of the Statue of Liberty covered by a parasite with a Magen David on it, arguing that it targeted Israel, not Jews.

Drew, an avid pro-Palestinian, wrote to Monehem, “I have so much admiration for you and would have been proud to support your campaign.”

Another person no longer being considered by Labour to run as a candidate (in South Suffolk) is Luke Cresswell, who captioned a blood-soaked Israeli flag with the words: “Israel is evil. Long live Palestine.”


Jewish Pro-Palestinian Wants To Run for Office

In Liverpool’s Riverside, a row broke out a Labour party meeting last week when Councillor Jo Bird, a Jewish pro-Palestinian, tried to enter. Bird would like to run for office.

The Jewish Leadership Council and Merseyside Jewish Representative Council described Bird’s potential candidacy as “profoundly disturbing to the mainstream Jewish community.”


Jewish Activist to Stand as Labour Candidate in Braintree

A Jewish activist, who resigned from the Corbynite Momentum group because he “felt unsafe and most certainly untrusted as a Jewish member of the Steering Group,” will challenge Conservative Party leader James Cleverley as a member of the Labour party in the safe Conservative seat of Braintree, Essex.

Joshua Garfield said to the Jewish News about Labour anti-Semitism: “It’s really important that candidates like myself, who are Jewish and outspoken on the issue do maintain their involvement in the party.”


Candidate Urged Not to Run Because He’s Jewish

It’s not only in the Labour Party that anti-Semitism is rearing its ugly head.

Former Conservative Ben Seifert, who has now joined the Liberal Democrats, said he was told by a local Conservative member earlier this year not to run for the seats of Hackney North and Stoke Newington because he’s Jewish.

Seifert told the Jewish Chronicle that the individual – “quite an old member” – called him and said, “It will look as if it’s sort of a stitch-up if we have a Jewish candidate in Hackney South or Hackney North and therefore I don’t think you should stand in that seat because you can have too many Jews.”

Seifert ascribed the remark to “old-fashioned bigotry” rather than the “endemic and systemic” anti-Semitism.


Mayor Cleared of Posting Anti-Semitic Comments

The Labour mayor of Prestatyn in North Wales has been cleared of posting comments, such as “Hitler had the right idea” after investigators learned that his account was probably hacked. North Wales Police dropped their investigation for lack of evidence. The mayor, Bob Murray, had been suspended from the Labour Party, and was reinstated.

Murray said: “I did not post these abhorrent sexist, homophobic and racist comments and I never would. I deplore the actions of the person who did this and I have secured my account to make sure this does not happen again.”


University Expels Student For Photoshopped Picture

Nottingham Trent University has expelled a student who posted a picture of himself on a dating app laughing at a sleeping Orthodox man, over whose mouth he had photoshopped a Palestinian flag.

A spokesperson for the university said: “This behavior is completely unacceptable and is not recognized as part of our university’s culture.”


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Doreen Wachmann served as a senior reporter and columnist for Britain’s Jewish Telegraph newspaper for more than 20 years.