Yosef David, a frum Jew from London who works as a social worker, took on an almost impossible challenge before the recent elections in the UK. Registering as a candidate for the right-wing Brexit Party, he tried to win Jeremy Corbyn’s seat in the Islington North constituency in London, which has elected a Labour candidate in every election since 1937.
Unsurprisingly he didn’t succeed in unseating Corbyn but gained fame in another more amusing way, to the delight of social media users.
At Corbyn’s speech following his resounding defeat by the Conservative party, David couldn’t help his stunned reaction to Corbyn’s lies.
“I’m very proud of the way that we fought this election campaign,” Corbyn said. ” We did not descend into the gutter.” At the latter statement, David’s left eyebrow raised so high in surprise that it almost leaped off his face, ultimately amusing countless social media users.
“We did not undertake personal abuse,” Corbyn continued. “We undertook the task of getting a message of hope and justice to every part of this country.”
David later told The Jerusalem Post that his reaction to Corbyn was not intentional. “I was absolutely determined not to do some kind of stunt,” he said. “I wanted to be respectful. The eyebrow raise was my honest reaction. It was 2:30 a.m., I’d had lots of coffee, no sleep, and it just seemed a ridiculous thing to say.”
In an interview with the Jewish News before the elections, David said that “I am aware that overturning a 30,000-plus majority would be a miracle.” However, he said, running was his way of “highlighting the impact of the anti-Semitism epidemic in the Labour Party on the community.”
Despite his defeat, David told The Jerusalem Post that although he only received about 740 votes and the Brexit Party didn’t even elect one candidate to Parliament, the party still played a vital role in the election by drawing support away from Labour in certain constituencies.
A percentage of voters in many constituencies in northern England that have been Labour strongholds for generations didn’t want to vote for Labour in this election but didn’t want to vote for the Conservatives either. Instead, they voted for the Brexit candidate, which sometimes caused the Labour candidate to lose their seat.
For example, Rother Valley in the northern country of South Yorkshire has elected a Labour candidate in every election for 101 years. On Thursday, they elected a Conservative MP for the first time due to the Brexit candidate, which pulled over 6,000 voters from the Labour candidate.
“This is a definite victory for [Brexit Party leader] Nigel Farage,” said David. “He has never been elected but has influenced the political debate and set the tone for years to come.”