‘Moderate’ Labour MP interviewed by police over ‘hate-incident’ pamphlet

John Mann, the Labour MP for Bassetlaw in Nottinghamshire, is perhaps best known for his boorish confrontation with a bemused former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, which was filmed by a camera crew that just happened to be nearby.


John Mann during his confrontation with Livingstone

Mann, a vocal opponent of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn recently had to eat public humble pie after Labour’s ‘Corbyn surge’ in the General Election. He remains no friend of the pro-Corbyn independent media, having hilariously compared the editor of this publication to ‘a Russian gangster’ in a Daily Mail article published at the end of June.

He also has a controversial history, having called after the 2015 General Election for huge cuts in benefits and tight controls on immigration, making Labour’s lead in the polls for its clear anti-austerity stance an uncomfortable fit for the right-winger, who has been an MP since 2001.

Now the SKWAWKBOX can reveal that Mann’s pugnacious nature led him into a race-related controversy that culminated in an interview with Nottinghamshire police after complaints about a brochure he issued on anti-social behaviour singled out one ethnic community:


The brochure provides advice on a range of situations, but the complaint concerned one particular section:

mann toc.png

Amid a series of chapters on issues that are intrinsically anti-social, Mann included an entire ethnic group: ‘Travellers’.

Ben Bennett, the 13-year-old Gypsy Traveller (GT) who was in the news last week for his email to a Tory MP about comments that singled out the community, was interviewed on Friday along with his family by this blog in an article that revealed the shocking levels of prejudice, racism and exclusion suffered by the GT community. And in 2016, the brochure prompted him to write to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Ben, who has suffered severe bullying at school because of his ethnicity, told Corbyn:

bb extract 1


He went on:

bb extract 2

Corbyn referred the matter to the Chief Whip, responsible for party discipline, but the Whip, surprisingly, decided no action was appropriate and told the family to refer the matter to the police, which they did.

Nottinghamshire police interviewed Mann and reported back to the family on the results:

notts police 1

The police’s response, which appears to confirm that the issue was being investigated as a ‘hate incident’, shows Mann telling officers that the booklet was no longer in print – and being told by them that any future reprints must be updated so that no community is singled out.

Mr Mann wrote to the family and to Travellers’ Times (TT) magazine. His email to the family set a troubling tone from its first sentence:

mann p 1 cropped.png

Mann also claimed to have helped the family with, among other matters, advice relating to problems Mrs Bennett’s parents were facing. However, Mrs Bennett told the SKWAWKBOX that her father died before Mann became an MP and her mum has never lived in the constituency.

Mann’s message to TT was also considered problematic. The magazine emailed Mrs Bennett about his response – which included similar accusations of defamation and which named the Bennetts specifically – flagging concerns about a potential breach of the Data Protection Act:

From: TT Team <redacted>
Date: 5 October 2016 at 12:29:08 BST
To: “redacted”
Cc: Yvonne [redacted], Patrick [redacted]
Subject: FW: Article naming myself

Here is John Mann’s response to our article.

I have copied in Yvonne and Patrick from the Traveller Movement after speaking to them about this. It may be that the JM email is in breach of data protection laws. It was unsolicited and at no point did we identify anyone as the “constituent” making a minor claim in the article. This appears to be an assumption he has made all by himself.

The SKWAWKBOX contacted Mr Mann for comment. He indicated that he feels that the complaint is politically motivated and denied that the police interviewed him:

The police like the pamphlet. gordonBrown described it as tremendous and it is currently being updated for a reprint.

There is no such reference [to Travellers as antisocial] currently , which is why when the police were contacted by the Bennett family, strong Consetvative candidate supporters at the election – mrsbennett attended the general election count with a Tory rosette on, they declined to interview me , take a statement or investigate their complaint

The booklet will again advice how to deal with illegal trespass , including by travellers and explain the law with regard to this .

You will of course have a copy of my letter to mr Bennett , which asks why – as the currentbooklet was last  circukated in2009- he didn’t raise issues then . I represented his son in 2010 over discrimination allegations at his school, or when he and his son attended my 2010 election rally with John Prescott and asked me to facilitate a photo.

I remain unclear who made the complaint by the way as it appears to be from the younger son who was 3 when the booklet ran out of stock . 

Spelling has been left as originally retrieved to ensure fidelity, bold emphasis has been added by the SKWAWKBOX.

Mr Mann has been asked whether the updated booklet will still mention Travellers specifically in spite of police advice stating that this would not comply with current laws, but has not responded so far. His response will be added if/when received.

The Bennetts deny being Conservative supporters. Mrs Bennett said,

We’re all strong Labour and Corbyn supporters. The children attended the election count as journalists, to film the event for Travellers’ Times. I may have worn a rosette briefly for my friend, who was standing against Mr Mann, but my loyalties are with the Labour Party.

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20 responses to “‘Moderate’ Labour MP interviewed by police over ‘hate-incident’ pamphlet

  1. Mann is a sordid little gremlin with no credibility whatsoever. He also seems quite happy to lie his face off when it suits him.

    Unlike young Ben who is rapidly becoming my new hero.

    Again, thanks for speaking to Ben and his family and giving them some well deserved airtime.

  2. If bruiser Mann is reading this, can I just intervene momentarily and remind him that the “Poverty Tsar” Frank Field style “career path to stardom” is now old hat and rather passé.

    The waywardly directed publications he’s been putting out are stuffed with tried, tested and failed ideas because in true Blairite fashion, they’re aimed solely at advancing the greedy, bitter, egotistical agenda of the person churning them out. (Google “Frank Field” / Hillsborough / Shipping Containers / Beirut / Antisocial Behaviour / Problem Families for much more on these failures).

    The new formula post Corbyn’s excellent showing nationally requires you as a Labour MP to wholeheartedly embrace the needs and views of the grass roots and to proceed on these alone, i.e. full and comprehensive representation of the people who put you where you are.

    Mr Mann, look long and hard in the mirror. Try taking a leaf out of newcomer Laura Pidcock’s book. You have much to learn, re-learn and digest.

  3. It is not unreasonable to conclude that a person who publishes a pamphlet on anti-social behaviour, which singles out an ethnic group, is a racist.

    This is not the only example of Mr Mann’s prejudice against ethnic groups. John Mann is also a staunch supporter of the apartheid Israeli administration, which has recently publicly admitted that it is fighting on the same side as the ISIS terrorists in Syria.

    Not only is John Mann associated with the distribution of race hate publications, but it is also be reasonable to argue that anyone who supports an apartheid state which fights alongside ISIS is also an apartheid apologist and a terrorist sympathiser.

    There is no place in the modern Labour Party for racist apartheid supporters who are fellow travellers of ISIS terrorists.

    John Mann will have to cut all ties with these racist and terrorist organisations and apologise if he wishes to remain in the party.

    Racism will not be tolerated in the Labour Party, the party has a zero tolerance policy to this type of disgusting racist behaviour.

  4. Pingback: ‘Moderate’ Labour MP interviewed by police over ‘hate-incident’ pamphlet | Jaffer's blog·

  5. Absent from John Mann’s correspondence:

    *I apologise to the Gypsy Traveller community for the hurt caused by my brochure.
    *I understand why it was wrong. My actions fell way below the standards expected of an MP.
    *I would like to reach out to the Gypsy Traveller community in order to learn more about the issues they face.
    *All constituents should feel included and respected, whatever their background. I will work towards achieving this.

    I just hope he made similar statements elsewhere.

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  9. I was gonna say to the people of Nottinghamshire to take a long hard look at themselves for electing this divvy and others like de piero and leslie.

    That’s just in the labour constituencies – tories from Nottinghamshire include ken clarke & soubry (Not for much longer, haha!).

    But then I remembered where I am, with angela (victim) illeagle, alison mcgovern and frank field – so I guess it’d be hypocritical of me :/

    But hypocrisy’s their ‘moderate’ labour (and tories’) MP’s game, so I’ll leave it for the people of Notts. to decide…

  10. Reblogged this on Socialist Fight and commented:
    Mr Mann investigated by police for have crimes against Travellers but not by Labour. As the complainant observation if it said “Jews” and not “travellers” instant action would have resulted.


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