Theresa May appoints fierce Corbyn critic Labour MP John Mann as ‘independent government adviser on anti-Semitism’ on last day in power
Labour MP John Mann (pictured), who chairs a cross-party group of MPs tackling racism against Jewish people, was described by Mrs May as a ‘key voice’ on the issue
Theresa May has appointed a fierce critic of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as an independent adviser on anti-Semitism in one of her final acts as Prime Minister.
Labour MP John Mann, who chairs a cross-party group of MPs tackling racism against Jewish people, was described by Mrs May as a ‘key voice’ on the issue.
Mr Mann was famously filmed confronting former London mayor Ken Livingstone over comments he made about Hitler supporting Zionism in 2016.
The MP for Basselaw has frequently called out Mr Corbyn for failing to address anti-Semitism in the Labour party.
He was also critical of suspended Labour MP Chris Williamson, who claimed the party had been too apologetic over anti-Semitism.
During a speech in February, he spoke of the need to ‘take the war to the anti-Semites’ at the annual Community Security Trust dinner.
On the new role, Mr Mann said: ‘If we stay silent on the issue of anti-Semitism, we unwittingly allow cowardice and bigotry to speak its own repulsive language.
‘I will continue to call out those throwing stones of hatred at Jewish people, and will endeavour to give a clarion call to Government on prejudice and discrimination on this issue.’
Mrs May said: ‘Anti-Semitism is racism. It has absolutely no place in our society and we must fight its bitter scourge wherever it rears its head.
‘John Mann is, without exception, a key voice on this matter.
‘He has frequently campaigned in the House of Commons on this issue and has tirelessly used his role as a politician to speak out on behalf of victims of anti-Jewish racism.
‘I am confident he will bring the level of cross-party independent advice needed to advise Government and to ensure we see progress on this very important issue.’
Downing Street said that Mr Mann would be responsible for providing the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) with independent advice on the most effective methods to tackle anti-Semitism.
He will also collaborate with Lord Pickles, the UK’s special envoy for post-Holocaust issues, as well as Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the special envoy for freedom of religion and belief, ‘to ensure a consistent approach’.
Labour has been rocked in recent years with claims by some of its MPs that the leadership is not tackling anti-Semitism vigorously enough.
The Tories have also been accused by some of not dealing with allegations of Islamophobia within the party in a robust enough way.
Mr Mann has been a critic of the way Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has dealt with anti-Semitism allegations in the party.
His appointment by the PM comes at a sensitive time for the Labour leader as Mr Corbyn is presenting an initiative to the party’s governing National Executive Committee (NEC) on Tuesday aimed at speeding up the process dealing with allegations of anti-Semitism.
However, some MPs have said that Mr Corbyn’s plan does not go far enough.