Statement from Andrew Rosindell, Member of Parliament for Romford, following the Council's Menorah U-Turn:
“I am very relieved that after many days of protests to ensure that the planned celebration of Chanukah in Havering could take place, has succeeded. There will be a public celebration with the lighting of a Menorah at our Town Hall in Havering on 12th December at 6.00 p.m.
Nevertheless, Havering Council should not have contemplated the cancelation of this important event in the first place.
As Romford’s M.P., I was determined to campaign for a full public celebration alongside the Jewish community of Havering. I shared in their distress and anger. From flawed reasoning to poor communication with those concerned, this episode brought shame to what is and must remain, a welcoming borough to all.
As this is fundamentally a matter of freedom of religion, public representatives ought to both support and enable the celebration of such traditions. The tragic conflict currently taking place in the Middle East was no reason to cancel this important celebration in Havering. It was a flawed and troubling decision from the start.
I am grateful to Cllr. Ray Morgon for reflecting on this decision and coming the right judgement, so that the display of the Menorah can proceed.
I hope that all those involved, including the Labour members of the ruling Administration in Havering will reflect and all public representatives will recognise the need to stand with the British Jewish community and defend freedom of religion, which is fundamental to British values.
I look forward to continuing to work with and support Rabbi Lee Sunderland and all members of the Romford & District Synagogue to ensure they are able to live on Havering without fear as continue be a cherished community within our borough.”