Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn booed at British Kebab Awards

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was booed as he presented a prize at the British Kebab Awards.

The vegetarian politician was presenting the best kebab restaurant in north and west London award to Kabul City Restaurant when he was met by jeers from some parts of the crowd.

Mr Corbyn, the MP for Islington North, smiled despite receiving a mixed response.

It followed Labour’s defeat to Boris Johnson’s Conservatives at the polls in December, their worst at a general election since 1935.

Corbyn told the crowd: “My test of a kebab restaurant because of predilection not to eat meat is, sorry about this – I can’t ignore the truth that I am a vegetarian – is that, does it contain salad and do they have good falafels?

“That has divided the audience. But can I tell everyone who operates a kebab restaurant or uses one, they are something very nice and very special in our community.”

A number of other politicians attended the event, including London mayor Sadiq Khan, Conservative business minister Nadhim Zahawi and shadow home secretary Diane Abbott.

Among the winners were vegan kebab chain What The Pitta, which scooped the award for best London takeaway.

Co-founded by Cem Kaymaz-Yildiz and Roj Gul, it began selling at pop-ups around London in 2017 before opening a permanent store in Shoreditch.

Thousands of members of the public voted for the 150 finalists to face the judges, who included the Labour MP Carolyn Harris, Conservative MP David Warburton, journalist Ash Sarkar, and Cobra beer sales director, Samson Sohail.

Ibrahim Dogus, Lambeth-based restaurateur and founder of the Kebab Awards said: “The kebab is an unsung cornerstone of high streets across the country, and the simply superb quality of this year’s entries shows that British small businesses can more than compete on a world stage of cuisine.

“What is also just as important is that we must not let Brexit hinder the UK’s flourishing restaurant and takeaway industries, which employ so many people often from migrant backgrounds.”

According to the British Kebab Awards, more than 1.3 million kebabs are sold across Britain every day, with the industry contributing £2.8 billion to the economy annually.

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