Brexiteer Labour MP Quits Commons over Antisemitism, Becomes Govt Tsar

Labour MP John Mann reacts as he leaves the Cabinet Office on Whitehall, in central London on January 31, 2019. - Britain may need to delay Brexit to pass legislation to implement the split with the European Union, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Thursday. As the March 29 withdrawal date …
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Brexiteer MP John Mann has quit the House of Commons over antisemitism, saying he would “never forgive” Jeremy Corbyn for allowing the party to be “hijacked” by antisemites.

Mr Mann, who was chairman on the all-party antisemitism group, made the announcement in The Sunday Times, with the veteran politician telling the newspaper he will not stand at the next election and will be taking up a full-time role as as an independent advisor on antisemitism for the Conservative government. Unless a General Election is held soon, a by-election may be triggered in his Nottinghamshire seat, which voted for Leave in the 2016 referendum.

“The party will not survive the erosion of its principles and its soul by this racist infiltration,” Mr Mann told the newspaper. “Corbyn has given the green light to the anti-semites and having done so has sat there and done nothing to turn that round.”

“Every time I go into a meeting with a group of Jewish people, I wince when they raise the issue of the Labour party and Corbyn. It is impossible to overstate the anger that I have about that. He has not just hijacked my political party — he has hijacked its soul and its ethics. I will never forgive him for that,” he added.

John Mann has been MP for Bassetlaw since 2001 and voted to leave the European Union three years ago. Backing Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement, he also was one only two Labour MPs (the other being Brexiteer Kate Hoey, MP for Vauxhall) recently to vote against Opposition and Tory rebel moves to stop a no deal Brexit.

In terms of Mr Corbyn’s leadership, Mr Mann said that he was “not prepared to lie to my voters” about his confidence in the far-leftist as leader, saying that he would not tell them he thought he was appropriate to be the next prime minister, “Because I don’t think he is.”

While Mr Mann remains a Labour Party member, several MPs have quit the party over antisemitism, including Luciana Berger, who joined the Liberal Democrats this week, as well as three peers in the House of Lords who resigned the party whip in July, saying Labour had become “plainly institutionally antisemitic”.

The party has come in for criticism since Jeremy Corbyn became leader in 2015, with allegations of antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiment being levelled at Mr Corbyn, the party’s members, and even at the party structure itself, with critics saying Labour’s administration has failed to adequately deal with complaints of antisemitism.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) announced in May it had launched an investigation into antisemitism in Labour.

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