Finchley and Golders Green Tory candidate accuses Labour of chasing anti-Jewish voters

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Finchley and Golders Green Tory candidate accuses Labour of chasing anti-Jewish voters

Alex Deane says Labour 'actively seeking' the votes of people who come to London and make it a 'no-go area for Jews' at weekends

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Alex Deane speaking to Jonny Gould Jewish State podcast
Alex Deane speaking to Jonny Gould Jewish State podcast

Finchley and Golders Green Conservative election candidate Alex Deane has claimed the Labour Party is “actively seeking” to attract the votes of “people who come to our capital city and make it a no-go area for Jews on weekends”.

In an interview with the podcaster Jonny Gould, Dean suggests Labour is attempting to “court votes that are antithetical to a modern pluralistic, democratic way of life”.

In comments that will align him firmly to the right of Rishi Sunak’s party, he also hit out at Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, accusing him of “revelling” in a capital city in which there is “diversity and inclusion unless you’re Jewish”.

The podcast interview for Gould’s Jewish State podcast was done just after the Prime Minister called the surprise 4 July election, and would suggest Deane is ready to set himself out as a candidate with a different style from that of Mike Freer, the MP who is standing down as a result of persistent threats.

Deane tells the presenter he is an “ally” to the Jewish community, and is also a proud Zionist, who is himself a Christian.

He also describes the sizable Jewish electorate in Finchley and Golders Green as “sophisticated” and accepts that not all will back him at the election, which sees Sarah Sackman stand for Labour, alongside candidates from the Liberal Democrats, Greens and other parties.

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves, left, and Sarah Sackman, Labour’s Finchley and Golders Green parliamentary candidate with the JN’s Lee Harpin in East Finchley

After praising Freer’s record as MP for the area, while describing his own views as pro-small state, low-tax and Thatcherite, Deane launched a scathing attack on Labour, over alleged support for those who attend pro-Palestine marches.

He said of Keir Starmer’s party: “They are actively seeking, in my view, to court votes that are antithetical to a modern pluralistic, democratic way of life.

“They are trying to call up votes in seats in the Midlands and elsewhere, which have very large populations, which go out and chant against, not just Israel but Jews.

“They are trying to get the votes of people who come to our capital city and make it a no go area for Jews on the weekends week after week after week.

“For those people who look at the current situation, say it’s not ideal currently under the Conservative Party, I’d say I accept that and we’re going to try and do our best to improve things, but it will be a lot lot worse under a Labour Party that panders to those things and panders to those movements.

“And if you just look at some of the equivocation that Labour has gone into over these rallies and marches you see the point. There are people calling for Death To Jews, there are people carrying signs not just From The River to the Sea, which is unacceptable, but supporting Hamas.

“There are people calling for the most appalling basically genocide, and they are they’re protected by our police and if I just there is going to get the a great deal worse under Labour government if we have one.”

Mike Freer speaks after winning the Finchley and Golders Green constituency in 2019. Photo: Jacob King/PA Wire

Turning his attention to Sadiq Khan, Deane claimed the mayor was “knowingly permitting a situation ” where Jews were scared to go into the centre of London to come about.

Deane, who later praised Campaign Against Antisemitism chair Gideon Falter, claimed Khan “revelled” in a situation where the campaigner claimed police had stopped him crossing the road during a pro-Palestine protest because he was visibly Jewish.

He added Khan ” revels in the fact that this is going on”.

The Tory hopeful added:”He would regard it I think because as an example -I mean, this is a perversion of language – an example of our diversity and inclusion that people are not able to walk down the street as long as they disagree with him.

“That they can’t walk down the street as long as they are of one faith. It’s amazing diversity and inclusion unless you’re Jewish.”

Deane claimed Keir Starmer’s attempt to transform the Labour Party was illusionary and that “Jeremy Corbyn has gone from the modern Labour Party, but Corbynism hasn’t…..”

“I would say from my perspective, if you scratch the surface of the Labour Party which has this thin veneer of Starmer respectability on the outside, you get pretty bad pretty quickly.”

At one point in the interview, Deane says pro-Palestinian activists target Jews whether or not they are Zionist.

He says:”I would just make a point that not all Jews are Zionists, and not all are anti-Zionists. I am not Jewish and I am a Zionist.”

Keir Starmer at JLM conference at JW3 (pic Ian Vogler)

Dean is a political commentator and consultant, who was called to the Bar in 2005. He was the founder of the organisation Big Brother Watch, and campaigned vigorously for Brexit.

Freer has held the seat since 2010, fighting off previous challenges from Luciana Berger for the Lib Dems, and current Labour candidate Sackman in 2015.

With its large Jewish electorate the seat will be a massive target for Labour under Starmer.

Sarah Hoyle stands this time for the Lib Dems, Steve Parsons for the Greens, while Reform and the Workers Party also field candidates.

Jewish News has contacted Labour and Mayor Sadiq Khan for comment.

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