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February 8, 2018 2:01 pm

In Comment on Ongoing London Coroner Controversy, British PM May Calls for Respect of Religious Burial Customs

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British Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo: Screenshot.

British Prime Minister Theresa May chimed in on Wednesday on the ongoing controversy surrounding a top London coroner who is locked in dispute with the Jewish and Muslim communities in the city over the disruption of burial ceremonies conducted according to religious law.

Replying to a query about the issue during a weekly Prime Minister’s Questions session, Theresa May said, “It is important that we take into account specific requirements of someone’s faith, especially when they’ve lost a loved one and they are grieving.”

May’s comment, the UK’s Jewish Chronicle explained, came a week after a judge granted the the Adath Yisroel Burial Society (AYBS) the right to a judicial review into the burial policy of Mary Hassell — the senior coroner for inner North London.

Last month, the UK’s representative Jewish body — the Board of Deputies of British Jews — issued an angry call for Hassell’s removal following several cases of Jewish burials being delayed due to her directives.

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On Wednesday, Board of Deputies Vice President Marie van der Zyl praised May for her Prime Minister’s Questions comment.

“We thank the prime minister for her intervention on faith-sensitive coroner services today and we are happy that the government is taking the issue seriously,” she said.

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