LONDON (Jan. 14)
Michael Davidson, Mayor of Newham, a large borough in East London, has refused to head a delegation of the borough to the Soviet Union next April because of Soviet oppression of its. Jews it was announced here today. The Major, stating that his decision had been prompted by personal reasons, said, “I feel that under the present circumstances in which Soviet Jews are denied human rights, it would not be right for me to lead the delegation. As president of the Newham Art Council, I feel even more keenly the injustice of depriving artists and writers in Russia of the freedom of expression.” The council will meet shortly to decide whether the delegation should go and if so, who should participate in and lead it. Davidson, who is Jewish, is the first British Mayor ever to refuse to lead a delegation to the Soviet Union, although municipal delegations are both frequent and numerous.