Two weeks ago a representative from the Jewish Labour Movement and I were invited to address Cities of London and Westminster CLP on the topic of antisemitism in the Labour Party. We were subsequently uninvited after a number of emails were apparently sent to the executive demanding that the issue not be discussed.
Naturally, this disturbed me a great deal. I have long been raising the issue of rising antisemitism in the Labour Party on this website and elsewhere. If Labour cannot be a safe space for the Jewish people, then it cannot claim to be a democratic Socialist party at all. But I believe that the overwhelming majority of Labour members in Westminster and elsewhere are decent people who hold no truck with racist views. We are many, they are few.
So, in launching my campaign to be the Labour candidate for Cities of London and Westminster, I call on Labour members in the constituency to send a clear message to the party and to the country that we are on the side of the Jewish people now and always.
But my campaign is about so much more than this. I have worked in and around Cities of London and Westminster for several years. I have seen how the prosperity of its businesses is contradicted by the poverty on its streets. Truly, this constituency represents both the best of Britain and the Britain left behind.
Should my candidacy be successful, I will campaign on the issues which matter most to local people. Chief among these campaigning issues will be homelessness. As the Chair of The Labour Campaign to End Homelessness, I believe that this is an issue which simply cannot be ignored in the constituency.
Rough sleeping has more than doubled in London since the Tories came to office, mainly around Westminster and other central locations. That’s why, since 2015, I have led outreach teams through the constituency to feed and clothe rough sleepers. Together let us show that in Cities of London and Westminster, at the heart of our nation’s capital, we are serious about ending homelessness once and for all.
I will also campaign on the related issue of housing, demanding more social housing and tougher regulations on landlords – especially with regard to fire safety. The British people have been left behind in ostensibly rich, prosperous parts of London. Foremost among these areas of masked deprivation is Cities of London and Westminster.
And of course, London and Londoners need cleaner air. Pollution at the heart of our city is taking more and more lives every year. I will campaign to support Sadiq Khan’s effort to clean up London by taking the issue right to the heart of Westminster.
If elected, I will demand a fair deal on Brexit for my constituents, which accepts the outcome of the referendum, but ensures that Cities of London and Westminster continues to benefit from trading links with our nearest neighbours in Europe.
Only an outcome based on strong reciprocal trading arrangements will give Cities of London and Westminster the future prosperity it so badly needs. Building on my long-standing work as the Vice-Chair of GMB Young London, I will demand a Brexit that protects vital jobs for young workers in Cities of London and Westminster.
I will be launching my campaign website soon. I hope I can count on your support.