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John Mann.

My first reaction to the defection of John Mann to the Tory government, where he intends to be their ‘anti-Semitism tsar’, was: “Good riddance!”

He has been an irritant in the Labour Party ever since Jeremy Corbyn became leader.

And his decision to join the government raises serious questions about this behaviour.

Remember this, back in 2016?

Mr Mann was lying – or at least, inaccurate – in his claim that Mr Livingstone had said “Hitler was a Zionist.” He had said no such thing but the accusation stuck, due to the support of others who may have had a political axe to grind.

Eventually Mr Livingstone was forced to quit the Labour Party, because of a trumped-up, meaningless accusation. As he was a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, the short-term effect was to weaken the Labour leader’s position.

Fortunately, support from the party’s grassroots membership means Mr Corbyn’s opponents have not been able to capitalise on that.

And now Mr Mann has jumped ship, joining the Conservative government.

He has announced that he will retire as Labour MP for Bassetlaw at the next general election (which we all expect will take place before the end of 2019). He has been appointed as a Crossbench peer in Theresa May’s Resignation Honours list – and this has raised suspicion.

The independent watchdog on Lords appointments warned that it would set a dangerous precedent and could be seen as a bribe – or perhaps as a reward for services rendered?

Whatever the fact of the matter, the decision to join the Tories casts doubt on all Mr Mann’s activities in accusing fellow Labour members of anti-Semitism.

Was there a political motive to his claims?

It seems clear that any cases brought against members on his word should be re-opened and the evidence re-examined – at the very least.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.


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