Exclusive Interview with London Mayoral Conservative candidate Shaun Bailey

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Jewish Weekly editor Yossi Saunders recently caught up with London Mayoral Conservative candidate Shaun Bailey MP to discover his plans if he wins the upcoming election.

Yossi

Shaun, nice to meet you, you looked like you were enjoying yourself driving the Shomrim car!

Shaun

A great picture for your paper I’m sure! Shomrim are a truly wonderful organisation, and it is very important to the community’s peace of mind to recognise how they help and assist the police, from the most dangerous crimes down to the most basic ones. It’s no joke either, and Shomrim members have told me that they have had guns pointed at them and have been nearly stabbed on several occasions.

 

Yossi

As Mayor of London, what elements would you copy from Shomrim to help London become a safer place?

Shaun

We need to have more police on the streets it’s as simple as that. More police walking around makes people feel safer by stopping crime. Because Shomrim are around it plants a seed of doubt in criminals minds and these dedicated volunteers are a well trained professional bunch of people who are not easily intimidated and can really stand up and protect the local community.

 

Yossi

The main talking point on everybody’s lips is the ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) charge coming into force on the North Circular.  People are very worried about the extra costs of day to day transport. ULEZ will mean that local hard working families will have to fork out yet more money during the worst economic time of living memory. How will you reassure the Londoners on the street that you have their best interests in mind?

Shaun

I will not expand the ULEZ at all. It’s not a good response to environmental issues, it’s not proven to help the climate much and there are much better ways to help the planet then making people’s lives a financial misery.

This hurts many people, not just your community on the way to synagogues or schools, but other Londoners too, on the way to church or the mosque. My own father is calling this a church tax and people in his local church have already said they will not come on Sunday anymore as these extra costs will simply make it unaffordable to pray with the community.

We are all reeling from the effects of the pandemic, we need to get the economy going again not halt it. London is a footfall city, it only works with people in it, on the streets. We need to get more people back into London to boost the economy and get people spending again, not turning them off.

A combination of  stopping the ULEZ tax, reversing council tax and binning the outer London boundaries tax will put more money back into Londoners pockets, helping both them and the economy at the same time.

 

Yossi

The Hatzolah ambulances are all out on call at the moment even though no one is supposed to call them whilst you’re here! Whilst we are waiting, what are your thoughts on this unparalleled community medical response group unheard of outside the Jewish community?

Shaun

It’s truly fascinating to me that you guys not only pull this off but in such a professional way too. It’s remarkable that an organisation that is essentially run by professionals always arrives much faster to serve your community than paid NHS workers. The rest of London can really learn from this model and be inspired that it works so well.

 

Yossi

Now they have arrived, you have seen for yourself that Hatzolah volunteers are extremely dedicated, often dropping whatever they are doing to race to the scene if they are nearby. There are always enough volunteers around to ensure patients are looked after. Hatzolah used to joke that the NHS ambulances are trying to become a same day service! Whilst not strictly your remit, would you still aim to help improve London’s first response based on this model?

Shaun

As you say the NHS falls under local trusts, however as Mayor it would definitely be of huge interest to me to help improve our medical scene across London.

The way Hatzolah has been set up and run is phenomenal! How much do these ambulances cost! It’s amazing they raise this money!

I used to be in the cadets and we trained first aid, but this is a whole new level. These guys put us to shame! I could not do the level of first aid that these guys do on a daily basis. 

In all seriousness I was once at the scene of a dangerous accident and I saw a doctor giving way to the paramedics who took initial control at the scene.

I asked a colleague how it was that a top doctor told the paramedics to take the lead when he was clearly way more experienced and knowledgeable then them. He told me that despite the doctors knowledge, paramedics are actually more important for the crucial stage of initial first aid treatment, and it cannot be underestimated just how important Hatzolah is to the community.

 

Yossi

What would your final words of inspiration be to our 60,000 readers.

Shaun

If I get in as Mayor, I will ensure a fairer and safer London for all residents, including of course the Jewish community. I have a better understanding of the unique stresses and strains of your community, including important issues such as antisemitism and Boycott Israel Week to name but a few.

I will make City Hall a crossroads for all Jews, all Londoners, and indeed the whole world! Jews will play a big part in making London a welcoming attraction internationally and people will come to London to do business, meet families and have fun.

Yossi

Thanks for your time today Shaun, hope you get in!

 

Shaun

Amen!!