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Ryan hails Turkish, Kurdish contribution to Britain

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Joan Ryan, Labour’s candidate in Enfield North, spoke to Haber at her campaign office on Wednesday

People from Turkey and Cyprus share same concerns as British people about crime, education and health services, Enfield North’s Labour candidate says

Joan Ryan had paid tribute to the “amazingly significant contribution” made by Turkish and Kurdish people to Britain’s economy.

In one of her last interviews before next Thursday’s general election, the Labour candidate for Enfield North said the hard work of the community as a whole was to be valued.

“I just think of all the Turkish, Kurdish, Alevi people who are here – they make an amazingly significant contribution to our economy,” she told Haber on Wednesday.

“From my experience – and I believe Enfield is the borough with the largest Kurdish community of any in the country – they are as a community, as a whole, a really hardworking group of people.

“They are determined to get on in life, they’re determined to get a nice home together, to get their kids educated.”

Ms Ryan, who was the Labour MP for Enfield North in last parliament, put crime and healthcare at the centre of her campaign to be re-elected.

Police numbers ‘not sustainable’

Ms Ryan said the Turkish-speaking communities’ concerns were no different from those of others living in the area.

She said: “There aren’t people of Turkish origin who have got a different set of concerns [to other residents]. That’s not true.

“For everybody in Enfield North, the main concerns tend to be health services, education, crime. Parents of young teenagers are absolutely worried to death at the moment. We’ve had eleven stabbings in two months and three fatalities.”

She said there were not enough police on the streets and that three wards in Enfield – amounting to 30,000 people – had just one sergeant covering their area.

“This is not sustainable,” she said.

Fifth contest

The Enfield North constituency is home to large numbers of Turkish and Kurdish-speaking people and will be a key battleground between Labour and the Conservatives in the 8 June general election.

Ms Ryan has been the MP since 1997 except for a five-year spell after 2010, when she lost the seat to the Conservative Nick de Bois. She regained it from him in 2015.

Mr de Bois is standing against her once more, setting the stage for a fifth contest between them next week.

“The judgement is for the voter to make,” Ms Ryan said about her chances of being re-elected next Thursday.

“It is right that you go to put yourself before the voters. You need to show them that you are going to fight for them.

“Otherwise why should they believe you’ve going to fight for them?”