Big turn-out at St Albans Jewish community hustings
PUBLISHED: 06:01 29 April 2015
A pre-election hustings arranged for the St Albans Jewish community drew an audience of about 120 – among the biggest local turnouts for such an event during the current campaign.
Jointly organised by St Albans Masorti (SAMS) and St Albans United Synagogues, it offered a platform to all five of the parliamentary candidates for the St Albans constituency.
SAMS co-chairman Simon Samuels, who moderated, said: “The evening saw robust discussion and some challenging questions from the audience [but] it would be difficult to say whether the debate produced any clear ‘winner’.
“Our aim was to make candidates aware of the concerns of the Jewish communities here in St Albans and in turn, to better acquaint our members with the candidates and their views.”
United Synagogue chairwoman Karen Appleby said that the evening’s large turn-out was “evidence of how interested the Jewish community is in local, national and international politics.”
Among the burning issues covered in lively exchanges between candidates and the audience were the NHS, health tourism, taxation, housing, Britain’s membership of the EU, the Israel/Palestine situation and the rise in anti-semitism and anti-semitic incidents.
An impromptu collection for Rennie Grove Hospice Care at the end of the evening raised nearly £150.