London’s Johnson campaigns in Jewish areas
Johnson, who is in a tight race with Labor candidate and former mayor, visited two of community's landmark bakeries.
BORIS JOHNSON Photo: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters
Mayor of London Boris Johnson conducted a tour of some of the Jewish hotspots of
north London on Sunday ahead of the city’s mayoral election next
Johnson, who is in a tight race with Labor candidate and former
mayor Ken Livingstone, dropped into two of the community’s landmark bakeries to
shake hands with surprised customers who were out restocking their pantries
The election campaign has become increasingly bitter,
with Livingstone in particular drawing heavy criticism from the Jewish community
for comments he made in a closed meeting with Jewish Labor party activists. The
former mayor said that Jews were unlikely to vote for him as votes for the Left
are inversely proportional to wealth levels and that the Jewish community is
He later apologized for the comments and mentioned successes his
administration made in cooperation with the Jewish community during his tenure
as mayor in an op-ed in the The Jewish Chronicle.
Livingstone has heavily
courted London’s large Muslim population and has pledged to educate city
residents about Islam and Muhammad’s last sermon, during the mayoral
Speaking about a possible descent into sectarian politics, Johnson
rejected such tactics and said that it was the mayor’s job to unite the
“My job as the mayor of London is to represent all the city and
bring people together, not try and play one group off against the other for some
psephological calculations,” Johnson told The Jerusalem Post on the campaign’s
Boris Battle Bus, referencing the election campaigning. “I think people in all
communities recognize that’s the best way for the city.”
The mayor also
addressed communal concerns about security issues and said he has raised the
issue with the police, following the attacks in Toulouse.
Johnson would not say whether or not he would allocate extra resources for
security at synagogues, nurseries and private Jewish schools, which provide for
their own protection, he asserted that his administration has worked hard to
increase the general security situation in London.
“What I will say is
that we have fought for extra funding for the police, extra funding for security
for all communities of London and I don’t believe in a month of Sundays that
that funding would be given to Ken Livingstone from central government,” he
He also praised the Jewish communal security CST organization for
During his tour, the mayor visited several London neighborhoods
with large Jewish populations, including Edgware, Golders Green and Hendon,
ducking into kosher cafes and grocery stores to hand out fliers and talk about
the campaign and the city’s needs.
Walking down Golders Green Road, the
mayor was waylaid by concerned citizens and wellwishers alike, accompanied by
assorted cries and car honks of support, as well as a phalanx of campaign staff
London goes to the polls on May 3.