Election showed ‘restoration of trust’ between Labour and UK Jews, says MP Sackman

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Election showed ‘restoration of trust’ between Labour and UK Jews, says MP Sackman

New Finchley and Golders Green MP said: 'In recent years our democracy has shown to be fragile, politics has become a darker place'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

New MP Sarah Sackman gives broadcast intervew after her victory in Finchley and Golders Green
New MP Sarah Sackman gives broadcast intervew after her victory in Finchley and Golders Green

New Finchley and Golders Green MP Sarah Sackman has insisted last week’s general election result is conclusive proof of the “restoration of trust” between Keir Starmer’s Labour Party and the Jewish community.

Speaking after she secured an impressive victory in the north London constituency with the highest number of Jewish voters last Thursday, Sackman also laughed off the ousted Tory government’s attempt to smear Starmer over a pledge in the run-up to the election to protect Friday evening Shabbat dinners with his wife Victoria.

Praising her husband and “beautiful” daughters for their patience with her as she campaigned relentlessly to secure votes nearly 22,000 across Finchley and Golders Green,  Sackman said:”I promise you, as you mum, your wife and as your MP, I will be keeping up traditions and I will never miss a Friday night.”

But on a more serious note, Sackman, a New North London synagogue regular, who grew up attending Norrice Lea shul, referenced the set-back of her first attempt to become MP in the same seat, in 2015, where she was defeated by Mike Freer.

He stepped down due to threats and intimidation in the run-up to election 2024.

“I felt hope drain away against a backdrop of populism and of Brexit, the Labour party lost its way in particular, it let down the Jewish community,” recalled Sackman.

“The Labour party needed to change and under Keir Starmer’s leadership it has changed. I’m glad that a Labour party can once again be a beacon of hope to all communities.”

She added she would promise to be a “local champion and public servant” for all constituents, no matter who they voted for at the election.

The barrister also paid tribute to former MP Freer, adding she would have wanted to have fought an election campaign against the former Tory minister, had he not been forced to step down.

“We may have had our differences over policy, but we should have had the opportunity to face each other at the ballot box,” said Sackman, who added she wished to “pay tribute” to Freer’s “dedication to service.”

Her Tory opponent at the election Alex Deane polled an impressive 17,276 votes, in a seat Labour and the Liberal Democrats, with Luciana Berger standing for the party in 2019, had previously tried hard to capture.

Ex-PM Margaret Thatcher was famously first elected as Finchley’s MP in 1959, holding the seat until her retirement from the House of Commons in 1992.

Speaking about her new role as an MPs Sackman said she accepted the responsibility to “restore people’s trust in politics.”

She added: “In recent years our democracy has shown to be fragile, politics has become a darker place.”

She added Jewish voters, like others in the diverse constituency  had cared just as much about the cost of living and NHS waiting lists, as foreign policy issues such as the Middle East.

Asked about Jeremy Corbyn’s victory in Islington North, Sackman said the result had been “disappointing.”

But she said that by expelling Corbyn, Starmer had shown his party had rejected the politics of Corbyn.

Elsewhere, in Chipping Barnet, where Dan Tomlinson defeated former Tory minister Theresa Villiers, to capture the seat for Labour for the very first time, he pledged to “always stand with the Jewish community against antisemitism.”

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