When Wera Hobhouse rose to make her maiden speech in the Commons, many Jewish observers got a shock...
The Jewish Chronicle reported on Wera's maiden speech, saying:
"The German-born Bath MP used the opportunity to deliver a moving explanation of her mother’s family’s persecution in Hamburg during the war.
The Liberal Democrat tells me her great-grandfather assimilated “like many German Jews during the second half of the 19th century”, and that her mother and grandmother “identified as Christians”.
Of course that did not stop the Nazis pursuing those family members who had not fled, and at least one relative was sent to Dachau before escaping to Scandinavia.
Ms Hobhouse said her mother’s experience — she suffered under the Nuremburg Laws — was “the incentive for me early in life to get involved in politics, so that we never again fall for extreme right-wing views on race, intolerance, exclusion and persecution”.
The presence in Parliament of a figure such as Ms Hobhouse — a former artist, journalist and teacher, fluent in three languages and with as varied a set of life experiences as you are likely to find — can surely only enhance our politics, in an era in which voters have made clear their unhappiness with career politicians."