British Chief Rabbi Turned Away From Polls in Jewish London Borough by the Forward

British Chief Rabbi Turned Away From Polls in Jewish London Borough

Image by getty images

(JTA) — Hundreds of voters, including Britain’s chief rabbi and his wife, were turned away from polling stations Thursday morning in a heavily Jewish borough of London.

The voters in Barnet who were not allowed to cast ballots were told their names did not appear on the lists of registered voters, the Jewish Chronicle . The North London borough’s council later announced that the polling stations were provided with updated lists and those voters could return to the polls.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and his wife, Valerie, told the Jewish Chronicle they could not return because they were headed to the airport to fly to Holland for a scheduled visit to the Jewish community there. Many others also told media outlets they had come early to vote because they would be unable to later.

Sue Cocker, the Barnet Council’s media manager, told the Jewish Chronicle that the problem had affected all 155 polling stations in the borough. The borough votes overwhelmingly for Tory Party candidates.

Municipal elections took place throughout the United Kingdom on Thursday, including a hotly contested race in London pitting the ruling Conservative Tory candidate, Zac Goldstein, who has a Jewish father but does not identify himself as a member of the community, against the Labour Party’s Sadiq Khan, who is favored to win, which would make him the first Muslim mayor of a major Western city.

Labour, however, is expected to lose dozens of seats nationwide, in part due to a spiraling scandal within the party over allegations of anti-Semitism and racism.

Some 54,000 Jews live in Barnet, making up about 15 percent of the population, The Telegraph reported, citing the national 2011 census.


British Chief Rabbi Turned Away From Polls in Jewish London Borough

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

British Chief Rabbi Turned Away From Polls in Jewish London Borough

Thank you!

This article has been sent!