London police shuts down COVID-19 Jewish wedding with 150 attendees

London police broke up a Jewish wedding held in Stamford Hill at the Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girl’s School on Thursday, causing roughly 150 guests to flee, UK media reported on Friday. Five of the guests were fined GBP 200 ($273) for violating the restrictions. While police claimed the wedding had 400 guests, a local security guard downplayed the figure and said roughly 100 people were present, BBC reported. The number of the guests was reported as 150 by Reuters, which added police are searching after those who fled the event to fine them. 
The north London Jewish school claimed it leased the building and had no knowledge about the event. Organizers face a GBP 10,000 ($13,600) fine for violating the COVID-19 health regulations.The late principle of the school, Rabbi Avrahom Pinter, died last year from COVID-19. 
Chief Rabbi of the UK Ephraim Mirvis called the incident “a most shameful desecration of all that we hold dear” in a Friday tweet and said that the majority of the Jewish community in the UK is opposed to it.

 

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson supported the police and said that those who broke the rules did so “flagrantly and selfishly.”  British interior minister Priti Patel said on Thursday fines would increase to GBP 800 ($1,094) to prevent people from having parties. Health services in the UK are worried that, as lockdown continues, more and more people are not minding restrictions.  

The ultra-Orthodox wedding guests reside in the borough of Hackney, where Stamford Hill is. Hackney has 625.43 confirmed COVID-19 infections per 100,000 people when compared to the average in England of 471.31, according to BBC.
The mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville noted that such events happened in the school before and that they are unacceptable. He stressed meetings will be held with Jewish leaders and community partners to prevent them from happening again, according to Sky News.
This is not the first incident of this nature in Hackney, as mentioned. A man who organized a “large party” at a local synagogue last Saturday will be fined GBP 10,000, The Jewish Chronical reported.

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