Many of you already know that it is a real source of pride to me to represent one of the largest Jewish communities in the country. The Jewish community is at the heart of community and civic life in Bushey/Radlett, and I hope my record shows that I will always stand up for Hertsmere’s Jewish community.
In recent weeks, hundreds of you have been in touch with me to express your distress, shock and fear at recent reports of antisemitic incidents not just across the country, but also within our community. I have been deeply shocked and distressed by the recent reports of antisemitic incidents, such as the cars driving through North London shouting vile antisemitic and violent messages to residents, but also the reports of the attack on Rabbi Goodwin in Chigwell and the reports of vandalism of Jewish homes, including here in Hertsmere.
I know how worried and vulnerable many Jewish residents are feeling right now. Antisemitism is never acceptable and has no place in this country. It must be driven out of our society using the full force of the law. I have engaged with our local Jewish leaders and rabbis, and urgently and repeatedly spoken with the Policing Minister and other ministerial colleagues. I am also convening a meeting with Hertfordshire Constabulary to discuss the approach they take in responding to antisemitic crimes locally.
Nationally, as Culture Secretary, I am developing the Online Safety Bill. This provides the opportunity to address antisemitic content online. I have been working closely with the Jewish community, including local residents as we develop it. The legislation will force social media companies to take stronger action against antisemitism on their sites and face large fines if they don’t.
I greatly appreciate residents sharing their experiences, thoughts, and concerns with me and I can assure you I will continue work tirelessly to protect the security and freedom of Jewish people.