Secretary of State for Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers MP this week pledged “to protect freedom of religious faiths at home and overseas” to continue slaughtering both kosher and halal meat.
The MP for Chipping Barnet told Jewish News this week she “recognised the importance” to both the Jewish and Muslim communities of eating food prepared according to the laws of kashrut and halal.
She said: “Slaughter across the board is heavily regulated and religious communities have been subject to extra regulations. But I believe, as the new Secretary of State, that it is very important for people to be able to follow their faith”.
Ms Villiers acknowledged that there had been amendments tabled to the Agriculture Bill in Parliament’s last session which could have affected the Jewish community. She said: “I would not have supported those amendments and in any case the Bill has fallen with the proroguing of Parliament”.
Also this week, Jewish community leaders from the Board of Deputies for British Jews met separately with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.
Mr Raab said: “It was a pleasure to host members of the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council at the Foreign Office. Now, more than ever, we must do more to fight the scourge of antisemitism and all racism. I look forward to continuing to work closely together in the future”.
Mr Williamson said: “It was a pleasure to welcome a delegation from the Board of Deputies to the Department for Education – giving me a chance to share our vision for a world-class education in all schools with such an influential voice in the Jewish community”.