In Redbridge organisations like the Faith Forum, schools and local politicians of all parties work together to promote community cohesion and to combat extremism and racism. Unfortunately national or international events can undermine that work. The crass, offensive newspaper column by Boris Johnson about the Burka and Niqab caused great offence to Muslims and non Muslims alike. It was designed to position Johnson as the Conservative right-wing standard bearer successor to Theresa May. So I doubt that he will apologise, as he should.
I first joined the Labour Party fifty years ago because of my strong commitment to fight racism and antisemitism. I am therefore sickened by how my party is currently perceived. A few years ago, Governments across the democratic world came together to agree the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism and agreed eleven working examples. Many councils and government organisations in this country have adopted this, including Redbridge Council. The refusal by the Labour National Executive to do so in full has caused great offence both to Jews and to non Jews, like myself, and to the overwhelming majority of Labour Members of Parliament. This has been made worse by the evasive answers and failure of Jeremy Corbyn to apologise for his past associations with the terrorists responsible for the Black September massacre of Israeli Olympic athletes and other atrocities. Labour must adopt the IHRA code and all examples in full, and then take strenuous action to repair the damage caused.