Islington has been home to a substantial Kurdish population for decades, and their contribution to the diverse character of the borough’s community has been immense. Given how international the local community is here, it’s important for all candidates seeking election to be engaged and informed on the issues that matter to diaspora communities.

Our conversation today ranged from international issues to very localised ones. We discussed the threat of ISIS, both in the Middle East and in the UK.

We also discussed the impact of council policies on small businesses in the area. Islington is world famous for its caf├ęs, bars and restaurants, and, particularly on Upper Street, Kurdish owned businesses make a significant contribution to the vibrancy of our local culture.

I was pleased to have the opportunity to speak to so many local residents this afternoon, to hear their perspectives on the key issues in this election and to discuss Labour’s plans to support small businesses by putting them first in line for tax relief, increasing access to bank lending and establishing a new Small Business Administration to reduce unnecessary regulations.

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