Keir Starmer given pre-election boost from Jewish voters in Barnet

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Keir Starmer given pre-election boost from Jewish voters in Barnet

Edwin Shuker, vice-president of the Board of Deputies, tells Keir Starmer he will be voting Labour for the first time at cafe meeting in Whetstone

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Edwin Shuker, Board of Deputies vice-president, tells Keir Starmer he is voting Labour
Edwin Shuker, Board of Deputies vice-president, tells Keir Starmer he is voting Labour

Keir Starmer has met with Jewish voters, including Board of Deputies vice president Edwin Shuker, at a Barnet cafe to hear them confirm they would be voting Labour at the election, some for the very first time.

The Labour leader arrived at the Oak Cafe in Whetstone on Monday afternoon, fresh from giving a major election pre-election speech in West Sussex.

Greeting him at a table inside the cafe were six voters from the Chipping Barnet constituency who had earlier informed local candidate Dan Tomlinson of their intention to vote Labour on July 4.

Some of those at the table told Starmer they had been life-long Conservative voters, but had now switched as a result of the Labour’s stance both on the economy, and in the fight against antisemitism.

Shuker told Starmer he had been a member of the Board for 33 years, and had always previously voted Tory, adding “we were scared, before you came.”

Keir Starmer listens to Jewish voters at the Oak Cafe, Whetstone

He said he had fled Iraq , as an asylum seeker, due to antisemitism there, to set up a new life in this country with his family, but feared he would have to “pack his bags” again, as antisemitism rose under Jeremy Corbyn.

Shuker told Starmer:”You were the miracle that came to us, at the right time ..saying it was stopping right now, and ruthlessly and brutally. 

He added:”That gave us that feeling we are welcome here.”

Dan Tomlinson meets Chipping Barnet voters

Starmer praised Shuker and said his family story was “extraordinary” before adding:”The first thing I said when I became leader of this party was that I was going to tear antisemitism out by its roots.

“You have then got to follow through because you are judged by your actions, not your words. People have said we have been ruthless, we had to be.”

At the point another of the voters around the table, also Jewish, said:”Had you not done that we wouldn’t be sitting here.” 

Labour’s Chipping Barnet candidate Tomlinson told Jewish News:”It was fantastic to welcome Keir to Chipping Barnet today.

“We spoke to people who haven’t voted Labour in a long time, and some who have never voted Labour before. Now, they are ready to support us.

“This is a transformed Labour Party under Keir’s leadership, and only Labour can deliver the change our country needs. The road to Downing Street runs through Chipping Barnet, and I look forward to speaking with as many residents as possible before Election Day on 4 July.”

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