It is a perfect spring morning in late April when an upbeat Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, bounds into a park in Barnet to address a large crowd of activists. The recent political climate has not been so sunny. Jeremy Corbyn has spent the last few days embroiled in a raging row about antisemitism in his party. On the day Khan visits, his party leader has just been forced to apologise for defending an antisemitic mural. Days earlier, upwards of 1000 people had gathered in Parliament Square to protest against his response to anti-Jewish abuse. The two main Jewish community groups have accused the Labour leader of ignoring their concerns, and demanded change. The row has been particularly pertinent in this part of north London. Barnet has one of the UK’s largest Jewish populations – around one in five of all Jews in England and Wales live in the borough. It is also one of the country’s most marginal councils, and Labour’s top target in today’s local elections. The borough is on a knife edge: the Conservatives retained control in 2014 by just 46 votes. This week, Labour is widely expected to win it back for the first time… Read full this story
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