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Muslims and Jewish people are watching Starmer closely amid growing frustration with Labour | UK News

In Grodzinski, London’s oldest Kosher bakery, the attention is mostly on pastries over politics.

Yet, this is the heart of Stamford Hill’s Jewish community, and a new row about antisemitism in the Labour Party has got people talking.

Volvi Kuperstein, the general manager, said Sir Keir Starmer had successfully repaired relations with the Jewish community after the damaging Jeremy Corbyn years.

“Definitely, he’s changed a lot. Since he’s come in, things have been much better than Corbyn. He’s going in the right direction,” he said.

Sir Keir has made a big point of the fact that he has purged the party of antisemitism but this new, reformed Labour Party is now being tested.

Under his leadership, the party has been quick to come down heavily on any hint of antisemitism.

At times, it’s been criticised by those on the left of the Labour Party for being too heavy-handed.

However, over the past few days, some cracks have emerged.

First, there was the vacillation following the initial allegations about Azhar Ali, the Rochdale candidate who said at a meeting in Lancashire that Israel allowed Hamas to conduct the 7 October attacks to give it cover to enter Gaza.

Facing the prospect of a by-election contest taking place without a Labour candidate, the party stood by him.

Two days later, new information came to light.

Volvi Kuperstein believes Sir Keir is moving in the right direction
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Volvi Kuperstein believes Sir Keir is moving in the right direction

Mr Ali is said to have blamed “people in the media from certain Jewish quarters” for the suspension of Andy McDonald from the Labour Party in October last year. Labour dropped him.

That gave the Conservatives some ammunition but Sir Keir came out robustly, saying that his party had acted decisively when the new information came to light.

He was hoping that the issue would blow over but, hours later, the candidate for Hyndburn, Gareth Jones, was suspended pending an investigation – for making offensive comments about Israel at the same meeting in Lancashire.

It has now emerged that the leadership has been quizzing Munsif Daid, a Hyndburn Councillor, who was also at that meeting. It is not clear what he said, if he said anything at all.

The apparent indecision has frustrated community leaders, who are unclear about where Sir Keir stands.

Read more:
Labour activists warned not to support abandoned candidate
Starmer claims he took ‘decisive action’

Rabbi Herschel Gluck says Sir Keir needs to act like a leader
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Rabbi Herschel Gluck says Sir Keir needs to act like a leader

Rabbi Herschel Gluck, chairman of the Arab-Jewish Forum, said: “If he cares about antisemitism, he should deal with it fairly and squarely, not toss and turn flip-flop. He needs to be a leader and do what he says and act in the consequential manner and not keep on changing his position.”

Muslims are also watching closely, and the party’s refusal to call for a ceasefire in Gaza has caused widespread discontent.

This is a strong Labour base that increasingly feel their vote is being taken for granted.

Sir Keir is sensitive to this.

The party haemorrhaged Muslim votes after the Iraq War and it has lost this group in local and mayoral elections before.

Independent parties are waiting on the sidelines.

Mohamed Munaf Zeena says the Muslim community 'don't trust Labour'
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Mohamed Munaf Zeena says the Muslim community ‘don’t trust Labour’

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Mohamed Munaf Zeena, chairman of the North London Muslim Community Centre, said: “I would go up to 60 to 70% of people who voted Labour will not vote for Labour.

“I, being a Labour Party member, I found it very difficult to vote for Labour. The Muslim community don’t trust Labour. Full stop. It doesn’t really matter who the candidate is or was. The Muslim group is gearing up to support an alternative party.”

With Labour 20 points ahead in the polls, this isn’t yet an electoral crisis.

However, both communities are frustrated at how quickly their concerns seem to become a political football in Westminster every time there is a flare up in the Middle East.

Trust takes a long time to build, but is quickly destroyed.

Prince Harry’s ‘intimate conversation’ felt more like watching a therapy session – and it cost us £17.99 each | UK News

It feels like we’ve just sat through one of Prince Harry’s therapy sessions.

More than that, we’ve all just paid £17.99 for the privilege, albeit with a free copy of Spare thrown in.

This was billed as an “intimate conversation” and that’s exactly what we got, over an hour of Prince Harry talking us through his personal trauma and healing.

This was not a conversation that threw hand grenades at the royal family, there was no mention of Prince William or Camilla.

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Nothing was said about the coronation and whether he’ll come, or how he feels about being evicted from Frogmore Cottage.

This was Harry discussing how he dealt with the trauma of personal loss, how therapy, nature, drugs and Meghan helped with his healing.

No major revelations, but we learnt how he was scared therapy might make him lose memories of his mother.

How he grew up with a sense of numbness when it came to his feelings. How he’s “lost a lot” moving to the US, but is “grateful” his children are growing up away from the institution he grew up within.

Copies of the newly released autobiography from the Duke of Sussex, titled Spare, on display at Waterstones Piccadilly, London, as it goes on sale to the public for the first time. Picture date: Tuesday January 10, 2023.

And once again, Harry draws a stark comparison between his parenting style “smothering them with love”, and that of his father.

The palace will have been braced for bombshells, and while Harry did a lot of talking, unlike his previous interviews, he did no damage.

No doubt there will be a sigh of relief from both the King and the Prince of Wales.

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What we do know is whenever Harry talks, people will listen.

He speaks from the heart and doesn’t hold back. His fans will have loved every minute of this conversation.

It’s unlikely to have changed the minds of his critics, but they probably won’t have spent the £17.99 to find out.