Corbyn blocks UK snap election scheduled for Sukkot

According to the World Jewish Congress, about 260,000 Jews live in Great Britain.

By HEDDY BREUER ABRAMOWITZ
September 5, 2019 14:16
3 minute read.
BRITAIN’S PRIME Minister Boris Johnson – he might ignite a post-Brexit Britain prosperity and instil

BRITAIN’S PRIME Minister Boris Johnson – he might ignite a post-Brexit Britain prosperity and instill in Britain a new spirit of confidence.. (photo credit: HANNAH MCKAY/ REUTERS)

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn blocked British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's efforts on Wednesday to set snap elections, which originally were set for the Sukkot holiday.

Johnson lost three critical votes in the Parliament within 24 hours. In a reaction to Corbyn's move, Johnson retorted that it “is not politically sustainable,” according to a CNN report.

CNN reported that Corbyn had been calling for early elections for months, yet once presented with elections in place, he blocked the option. He said he believed that agreeing to the election could have jeopardized the bill stopping No Deal Brexit which the House of Commons passed earlier on Wednesday, according to CNN.

Corbyn tweeted that only when the No Deal Brexit was off the table would he then go to the electorate.



The potential date for UK snap election was originally in conflict with the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which would have prevented observant Jews from voting. The date for the potential elections was moved from October 14 to October 15 after the Board of Deputies of British Jews noted the problematic timing, the London-based Jewish Chronicle reported on Wednesday.

This year October 14 and 15 mark the first two days of the Jewish festival of Sukkot. During this period, Jewish law forbids several activities, including writing, driving and using money. However, on the second day, normal activities can resume after dark, approximately at 7 pm in London. 

Since the polls in the UK close at 10, the change would allow British Jews some time to go vote.

"While we understand that the situation surrounding Brexit means that there is very little flexibility over dates, we have been in touch with the Government to explain the concerns and difficulties that our community would face," Board vice president Amanda Bowman told the JC.

According to the World Jewish Congress, about 260,000 Jews live in Great Britain.

The UK is divided into constituencies, and each constituency elects a representative to the House of Commons, the country's parliament.

According to the JC, there are two constituencies in London with substantial Jewish populations, Finchley and Golders Green and Hendon. Both are currently Conservative seats with narrow majorities.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he would try to call a snap election after lawmakers seeking to prevent him taking Britain out of the European Union without a divorce deal dealt him a humbling parliamentary defeat.

Parliament's move leaves Brexit up in the air, with possible outcomes ranging from a turbulent No Deal exit to abandoning the whole endeavor both outcomes would be unacceptable to swathes of the United Kingdom's voters.

An alliance of opposition lawmakers backed by 21 rebels from Johnson's Conservative Party defeated the government on Tuesday on a motion allowing them to try to pass a law which would force a three-month extension to Britain's EU exit date.

Johnson cast the rebellion as an attempt to surrender to the EU, vowed never to delay Brexit beyond October 31 and said the country needed an election.

"This government will take this country out of the European Union on October 31, and there is only one thing that stands in our way, it is the 'surrender bill' currently being proposed by the leader of the opposition (Corbyn)," Johnson told Parliament on Wednesday.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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