The Conservative Party candidate for London mayor has suggested that Jewish people are “frightened” by Labour’s Sadiq Khan in a fringe event at party conference.
Susan Hall, who was selected to run for the mayoralty in July, made the comments at the Conservative Friends of Israel event.
She told the audience that one of the “most important” things she would do for Londoners would be to make the city “safer”, particularly “for our Jewish communities”.
Hall asked for “as much help as [she] can get in London” because Mr Khan “needed to be defeated”.
“I know how frightened some of the community is because of the divisive attitude of Sadiq Khan”, she added.
“One of the most important things that I will do when I become mayor of London is to make it safer for everyone, but particularly for our Jewish community. I will ask for as much help as I can get in London, because we need to defeat him.”
The Board of Deputies of British Jews responded saying Sadiq Khan had “treated our community with friendship and respect”.
The organisation said it hoped to hold a hustings with all the candidates before the mayoral vote next May.
It said the hustings will make “clear that while London Jews may have varying political views, there is no fear present at all”.
Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said her remarks were “divisive and disgusting”.
“Sadiq Khan has repeatedly stood by London’s Jewish communities in the fight against antisemitism”, he wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
“Susan Hall’s dog whistle politics have no place in London. Will decent Conservatives ever call this out?”
The Jewish Labour Movement accused Hall of “gutter divisive politics that seeks to use the Jewish community as political pawns”.
“We had quite enough of this from Jeremy Corbyn and saw him off — and have no patience for it from Susan Hall,” it said.