Havering Council has U-turned on its decision to pause the installation of a menorah in Romford after talks with Jewish community leaders.

The installation of the Chanukah menorah outside the town hall had been paused over concerns of rising hate crime amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, The Recorder reported yesterday (November 30).

The move sparked fury, with Romford MP Andrew Rosindell calling it a "grave insult" to the Jewish community.

But today (December 1), the council has announced it has reversed its decision to pause the installation, confirming the candle lighting ceremony will go ahead on December 12.

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Ray Morgon, council leader, said the authority had a constructive meeting with the London Jewish Forum, the Essex Jewish Community Council and Rabbis Aryeh Sufrin and Lee Sunderland.

"I fully appreciate why this is such an important installation for our Jewish community," Cllr Morgon said.

"We look forward to the completion of the permanent installation and our first Chanukah ceremony.

“We also look forward to continuing to work closely with our Jewish community and other faiths on our commitment to a cohesive and inclusive borough.”

The local authority had previously expressed concern that the menorah would be vandalised amid tensions from the ongoing Middle East conflict.

Rabbi Sufrin MBE, director of Chabad North London & Essex, said his group was delighted Cllr Morgon had listened to their concerns.

Daniella Myers, director of the London Jewish Forum, thanked the council for meeting at short notice and said the matter had been resolved.

"Our community has been listened to," she said. "As a result we are very pleased to say the planned installation of the Havering menorah will be going ahead.

"The London Jewish Forum was able to provide the wider picture, which had important implications beyond Havering."

Before today's announcement, a council spokesperson said a temporary menorah would be put up to celebrate the beginning of Jewish festival Hanukkah.