Siobhan Benita for Mayor of London

Jewish community leaders, housing and Battersea Dogs and Cats: Siobhan Benita's campaign diary


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Siobhan Benita and fellow Liberal Democrats met with Jewish community leaders. This week's update from life on the campaign trail as the Lib Dems' candidate to be our next Mayor of London.

Monday 8th July:  Meeting Jewish Community   

I was pleased to join Lord and Lady Palmer of Childs Hill, Jonathan Davies and Toby Davis from the Lib Dem Friends of Israel to meet leading members of the Jewish Community (the picture above is taken on our visit).  Along with Caroline Pidgeon and Rob Blackie (one of our great GLA Assembly candidate), we had an excellent discussion with representatives from The Board of Deputies, the Holocaust Educational Trust, the Community Security Trust and Jewish Leadership Council.  

Sadly, we have seen a rise in hate crime across the capital and, especially in the context of the Labour Party's failure to deal with antisemitism, we talked about the need for clear and unambiguous leadership on this issue.  

Wednesday 10th July:  Battersea Dogs Home 

There are some visits that every candidate looks forward to and the iconic Battersea Dogs and Cats Home is definitely one of them.    Battersea has been in operation since 1860 and it cares for over 7,000 animals every year.  As Liberal Democrats, we value the very special role that animals play in our world  and treating them with respect is central to our liberal values.   Watch this space for some exciting developments on animal welfare in the party later this year...

Thursday 11th July:  Police foundation event on The Public Health Model  

It was so good to start a very busy Thursday by attending the Police Foundation's event on "Policing and public health: A public health approach to community safety."   The excellent Panel included Stan Gilmour, who I first met as part of my work with the Youth Violence Commission.  Stan's presentation supported so many things that I believe to be true, including the need to focus on effective community policing, genuine collaboration across organisations and an understanding that prevention and compassion are not the easy options too many people make them out to be. 

Later on Thursday I had two excellent meetings.  The first was with the new video-based, social discussion organisation "My POV on-line" where I was interviewed about drugs reform and, in particular, the possible legalisation of cannabis.  

I then met with Living Streets, who share many of my aspirations to make London a more pedestrian friendly environment. We discussed several radical plans to remove the private car from parts of Central London and improve public transport. The pressure group are aware of the good work done by Liberal Democrat councillors in London and are keen to build on this in our campaign.

Friday 12th July: Lib Dem housing policy discussion

I attended an excellent round table on housing issues with liberal democrat councillors and colleagues from across London who have particular expertise in a range of housing-related areas.  We focused on two key challenges for London; the availability of homes that Londoners can afford and support for the growing number of private renters.    

Along with Caroline Pidgeon, we also managed to squeeze in a very useful discussion with our wonderful new London MEP Irina von Wiese, discussing real examples of where the EU has been beneficial for people or organisations in the capital.   

Saturday 13th July: Harrow Garden Party 

In between all the campaigning and canvassing, it’s also summer party time. Thank you to ⁦Harrow Lib Dems⁩ for inviting me to speak in gorgeous Pinner.


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