Lord Mann takes the Labour whip and pledges to campaign for Starmer’s party

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Lord Mann takes the Labour whip and pledges to campaign for Starmer’s party

EXCLUSIVE: The government's antisemitism adviser tells Jewish News ahead of the general election: 'I will be campaigning for the Labour Party and recommending a Labour vote'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Lord Mann
Lord Mann

The government’s independent adviser on antisemitism Lord Mann has confirmed to Jewish News he has taken the Labour whip again – and will actively campaign for Keir Starmer’s party in the general election.

Mann was nominated to the House of Lords in former Prime Minister Theresa May’s resignation list in 2019 and quit as an MP to enter Lords where he has almost come to the end of a five-year term tackling antisemitism as a non-affiliated peer.

He had previously served as the Labour MP for Bassetlaw in Nottinghamshire, but was an outspoken critic of Jeremy Corbyn, both over his handling of antisemitism and over Brexit.

He said he could not campaign for Jeremy Corbyn knowing that he could become prime minister, and told the Sunday Times he would “never forgive” his leftwing leader for allowing the party to be “hijacked” by antisemites.

He also famously clashed with Ken Livingstone.

On Friday, he entered the Lords chamber wearing a red Labour Party tie. Later in the day the parliamentary website was updated to confirm Lord Mann’s party affiliation as Labour.

He told Jewish News:”I will be campaigning for the Labour Party and recommending a Labour vote.”

Parliamentary Website update on Lord Mann

Mann’s decision to take the Labour whip is another boost to Starmer’s party ahead of the July 4 election, and will be taken as a sign that the life peer believes the fight boot out the antisemites that flourished under Corbyn has been a success.

Mann’s decision to take the Labour whip again came on the day Corbyn was expelled from the party for standing as an independent candidate in Islington North.

Mann has been praised by politicians across all parties for his work on antisemitism, but he is known to have been frustrated with recent Tory ministers including ex-home secretary Suella Braverman over her approach to tackling the issue.

Ken Livingstone confronted by Labour MP John Mann after making his controversial remarks about Hitler

Communities Secretary Michael Gove also sparked widespread anger in the Jewish community when it was claimed he was seeking to replace Lord Mann with someone more politically aligned to the Tory right-wing.

With parliament sitting for its final time on Friday, Lord Mann is expected to remain in his role after the election.

Keir Starmer at JLM conference at JW3 (pic Ian Vogler)

Rishi Sunak is believed to be impressed with Mann’s work in the role, while Keir Starmer also praised the peer’s efforts to tackle the scourge of antisemitism, and told Jewish News he would “bolster” the role under a Labour government.

Mann’s wife Jo White , a respected councillor, is standing as the Labour candidate in Bassetlaw , seeking to overturn Conservative candidate Brendan Clarke-Smith’s 14, 000 majority at the last election.

Clarke-Smith resigned as deputy party chairman earlier this year over claims Rishi Sunak’s controversial Rwanda policy was not tough enough.

Leeds United fan Mann has frequently spoken at synagogues across the country, and always credits the Jewish community in Yorkshire of being supportive to his family.

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