Conservative Candidate for Mayor of London, Shaun Bailey AM, joined the Jewish youth organisation JLGB’s webinar this week, for an interview on his time in the Army Cadets, youth opportunities and his positive vision for London.
In the wide-ranging interview from young leaders, he was asked about what he took away from his visits to Auschwitz on March of the Living, and Israel.
Speaking about the Holocaust, Shaun Bailey said: “I had studied it in school, people had told me about the Holocaust, I’d attended services in my day job as a London Assembly Member. None of those things got across to me the sheer scale of what went on. When I saw it…I just have to use the words unbelievable – it’s unbelievable to me”
He added: “When I was at Yad Vashem, that brought it home on a personal level – to be helpless, to be unable to help your own family would be a really desperate feeling. Those two experiences were important to me because it meant when I came home and people were talking about a rise in antisemitic attacks, I understood it. I understood how it’s personally damaging to people because I had a different reference point”.
On visiting Israel with CFI, he emphasised: “I saw such levels of innovation, and for those of you who don’t know me, my degree’s in engineering. I love anything technical – gliders and radio-controlled cars and lego and all that nonsense – I love it. And when I went to Israel, I met some of the most tech-savvy, go-ahead business people I’ve ever met, and it was great because it gave me a contrast in the fortunes of the Jewish community”.
The Conservative Candidate for London Mayor also highlighted the importance of inclusivity for people of all faith groups and breaking down barriers of participation: “What we need is a willingness to learn and make the change, and that means organisations like yours [JLGB] end up acting on behalf of communities far beyond your own, because you make that an issue, you make it something that people are aware of and discuss… I believe if it’s explained to people they normally are quite happy to help but you’re correct, there’s some teaching there, there’s some lessons to be learned”.
Watch the webinar in full here.