The Liberal Democratic Party’s candidate for the London Mayoral elections Caroline Pidgeon said that in the event that she wins the elections to be held in May 2016, she will work to listen to the voice of Muslim communities through her participation in taking decisions within the capital’s institutions whether that be in parliamentary sittings, the London Assembly or in Parliament, and that she considers this endeavor a “political necessity”.
Pidgeon stressed in an interview with “Asharq Al-Awsat” that she would strive to tackle the problem of “Islamophobia” (a fear of Islam), the causes of which are rooted in ignorance. She also believes that the “best way to address this hatred is through education and development”.
Pidgeon also emphasised that one of her priorities is to “ensure that no Muslim in London feels fear or unable to inform the police and security institutions of these crimes, and the importance of London remaining a safe city for all communities”.
Regarding her view of local police plans and efforts to prevent attacks on Muslims in Britain, she said “As a member of the London Assembly and the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee, I have seen the records specific to this subject and found that, unfortunately, there has been a rise in the rate of ethnic and religious related crimes by 33% in the last three years”.
She added that “the policies adopted by the Metropolitan Police Service are right in actively encouraging the reporting of all hate crimes. Until you know the real level of a crime taking place you cannot put adequate resources into tackling a crime. So my number one priority would be to ensure that no Muslim in London ever feels unable to report any form of hate crime to the police, and that London remains the safest city for all communities. There is a need to tackle all forms of hate crime and maintaining the safety and security of all citizens, inhabitants and visitors of London”.