Mann resigns for role as Tories’ ‘tsar’. In 2016 police interviewed him over anti-Gypsy ‘hate incident’

John Mann said he has resigned to focus on role as antisemitism ‘tsar’ for Tory government – but in 2016 he was accused of racism against another people group targeted by nazis

Analysis

John Mann when criticised by a local member during ‘unequivocal vote of confidence’

Surely if John Mann Mp believes in equality, he wouldn’t write such things about my community

Gypsy Traveller Ben Bennett, then aged 13


John Mann has announced his resignation as MP for Bassetlaw, claiming it was because he “can have a bigger impact” in his role for the Tories.

Mann has a track record that might make him a prime target for deselection and has often angered Bassetlaw Labour members. A year ago, he claimed on social media that those members had given him an ‘unequivocal vote of confidence’ – until the SKWAWKBOX revealed video showing that many members had walked out of the meeting in disgusted protest.

This article is the first in a series looking at Mann’s documented record – and it begins with a deadly serious topic.

Because ironically, given the role he has resigned to pursue, he was interviewed by police over his publication of a leaflet that targeted a people group that the nazis tried to eliminate – the Gypsy Traveller community – and the police made clear that they considered that the interview constituted an investigation into a ‘hate incident’.

Anti-gypsy ‘hate leaflet’

The booklet discontinued by Mann after police interview

In 2016 Mann was interviewed by the local police concerning an ‘anti-social behaviour handbook’ that specifically targeted Gypsy Travellers – listing them among various types of social evil:

When challenged by the SKWAWKBOX about the interview and document, Mann claimed that the police liked his handbook – but an email from the police said otherwise, saying they had investigated it as a ‘hate incident’ – and that they had raised with Mann his categorisation of a people group as a problem:

Also as I informed you, lnsp Bellamy and I did offer. advice to Mr Mann concerning the section entitled ‘{Travellers”, including any further publication of the booklet, on the basis that it should identify the problem (i.e. unauthorised encampment) and not single out a group of people as responsible for the problem (i.e. Travellers), which is in keeping with the rest of the booklet…

With regard to further contact with you in response to your complaint, as I explained to you on Friday, Mr Mann gave no indication that he would take part in any dialogue with you.

Mr Mann is aware that I am feeding back to you on our conversation with him.

Finally, to confirm that from my perspective this concludes my investigation into this hate incident. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need any further from me in respect of this.

Young Gypsy Traveller activist Ben Bennett, whose family complained to the police about Mann’s ‘handbook’, wrote a heart-rending letter to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn about how Mann’s behaviour had affected him (emphases added):

My name is Benjamin David Bennett, I am a 13 year old English Romany Gypsy and I live in Bassetlaw. I am writing to you about our local Mp John Mann who has written a booklet that myself and my community consider highly offensive and racist. I have experienced being bullied at all nine of my previous schools, because of my ethnicity, although I have recently started my 10th school and I am really enjoying it, pupils and teachers are treating me very kindly.

I care deeply about campaigning for my communities equality and human rights. I was searching online to see what local authorities are doing to combat bullying and racism in my area for Gypsies and Travellers, I stumbled across a booklet produced by John Mann Mp, entitled the Bassetlaw anti social behaviour handbook, your guide to law by John Mann Mp, in this booklet there are the following headlines, Fireworks, Graffiti, Rubbish, Vehicles, Loitering, Youths, Alcohol, Neighbours from hell, then Travellers.

This made me feel very upset, I can’t understand why John Mann Mp, would choose to talk solely about my community in such a derogatory manner, with statements such as, The police have powers to remove any Gypsies or Travellers and have powers to direct people to leave the land and remove any vehicles or property they have with them, if they believe, Trespass is occurring.

John Mann’s statement absolutely devastated me

Gypsy Traveller Ben Bennett, aged 13


The letter went on:

This makes me feel like my community are being blamed for all acts of trespass and it is also giving the wider settled community the impression that Gypsies and Travellers are the only people that commit trespass. John Mann Mp’s booklet does not talk about any other ethnic minority or any group of people. By singling out Gypsies and Travellers, I feel that it takes away my dignity and that my community are being labelled as law breakers and criminals, this booklet makes me feel hurt and discriminated against. I am one of John Mann Mp’s constituents, I have seen on the news on many occasions John Mann Mp, talking about racial equality and is against Anti-semitism. Surely if John Mann Mp believes in equality, he wouldn’t write such things about my community. If the same statement was made using the headline Jews then I know that many authority figures would say that it was Anti-Semitic and they would be right. but somehow the headline saying Travellers is seen as acceptable. This is Anti-Gypsyism, and my community feel that racism towards Gypsies and Travellers is seen as the last acceptable form of racism.

John Mann Mp said in May earlier this year “if labour cannot combat racism, we are nothing” I don’t understand why John Mann Mp would talk publicly about how he wants to combat racism and yet write such racist comments in his booklet to single out my community. As a 13 year old boy growing up in Bassetlaw, I have met John Mann Mp on several occasions, firstly when my father ran a successful campaign to to save our local high school from closure (Serlby Park) when John Mann Mp became involved in the campaign, he visited my families home on many occasions during this campaign. I thought John Mann Mp was a family friend, unfortunately it has become very clear that John Mann Mp is not a friend of my family at all.

I was so upset at this booklet, I sent a copy of the link to Travellers Times magazine, who published an article on it.

The editor of TT contacted my mother, (Nathalie Bennett) because he had received an email from John Mann Mp accusing my father of being one of the sources exposing the offensive booklet, when it was actually me. John Mann Mp, claims that he helped my parents and provided advocacy on occasions, which is not true. Mr Mann also claims that he helped my mothers parents. My Granny and Grandad have never met John Mann Mp and also have never lived in Bassetlaw ever, my mothers father (Grandad Billy) passed away in 2001, in very tragic circumstances which is still very difficult for my family to talk about. John Mann’s statement absolutely devastated me, I do not understand why John Mann Mp would lie, about helping my mothers parents and I am sure that he was aware that my Grandfather had passed away, so to make reference to my Grandfather is deeply offensive and hurtful. To talk about my families personal information to a third party is truly devastating especially making references to my Grandad Billy when our family are very private people and Mr Mann has no right to share our private information to anyone.

I don’t feel confident enough to contact John Mann Mp directly about this, I feel that John Mann Mp is attempting to bully me, by talking about my family to a third party. To make matters worse John Mann Mp wrote a letter to my father on Parliamentary headed paper, talking about the article saying the same things he said in the email to Travellers Times, where he again talks about how he has helped my family on various occasions, and he again falsely says he helped my Grandfather, this is so upsetting for me, as I never met my Grandfather and nor did John Mann Mp, he also states that he distributed his booklet, 100,000 times. This makes me wonder if there is any connection between the booklet distribution and the persistent racist attacks on our house, my home was under constant racial attacks. When we lived in our house we had various animals including chickens and a shetland pony, our shetland pony had it’s main cut off and became very timid around anyone who wasn’t part of our immediate family. Some of our chickens were killed on Christmas eve and hammered onto our swing, waking up on Christmas morning to this was heart breaking and devastating for me and my brother and sister. Other occasions our family car had Gyppo etched into it. There was also another incident where my fathers, father my Grandad John was attacked in our house whilst house sitting, and he was called “Pikey scum”, my Grandad John was in his 70’s and he suffered a heart attack after this racial attack.

The final incident that occurred was when we woke to find petrol at the bottom of the stairs which had been poured through the letter box, alongside an unlit box of matches, the police where not helpful at the time either. My family felt so let down by everyone that we left our house and moved back into caravans to travel again. Finally we bought our own land and we have planning permission to live here, living here we have experienced several racist attacks also, we have had a caravan set fire to whilst me and my brother and sister were sleeping in it. Our family car has been set alight too. We have had death threats, voodoo dolls left at our gate, and one of our goats was viscously attack having its throat slit. I am 13 years old and I have seen a lot of hatred towards my community and my own family and this is why I am so keen to campaign against acts of racism.

Mp’s are seen as authority figures and someone to look up to, I have seen photo’s of John Mann Mp displayed at all of the schools I have been to. Therefore when he is publishing information like this and distributing it 100,000 times, I can’t help but think that some members of the public will take the stance that it is ok to racially abuse members of my community, as they do in Bassetlaw.

I have seen John Mann Mp often publicly challenge racism, yet he seems to forget Anti-Gypsyism is racist as well. I feel that John Mann Mp should resign and leave the labour party, then Bassetlaw could be better served by someone who is against racism for everyone, instead of someone spreading hate.

Could you please write back to me with your thoughts and solutions.

Thank you for listening to me.

Yours sincerely Benjamin David Bennett
English Romany Gypsy age 13

Corbyn, whom the family reported as being very kind in his response to them, referred the matter to the Chief Whip, responsible for party discipline. The Whip, surprisingly, decided no action was appropriate and told the family to refer the matter to the police, which they did.

When the Travellers Times contacted Mann about the booklet and its impact on Ben and his family, he did not apologise or offer sympathy. Instead, he sent emails, in a threatening tone, to both accusing the family of defaming him:

The Travellers Times wrote to the family about the email they had received from him:

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.

For the full 2017 SKWAWKBOX story, including John Mann’s full response to a press enquiry about his publication and the Bennetts’ complaint, click here.

The unrepentant John Mann’s history regarding the Gypsy Traveller community – a people group that also suffered hideously under the nazis and still, as the Bennetts’ experiences have shown, continues to be viciously targeted by racists today – makes him no loss to the anti-racist Labour Party.

In the next article, the SKWAWKBOX will examine some of the experiences of John Mann’s local Labour members – many of whom are said to be celebrating his departure and the opportunity to replace him.

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33 responses to “Mann resigns for role as Tories’ ‘tsar’. In 2016 police interviewed him over anti-Gypsy ‘hate incident’

  1. Yet again the Tories expose their ‘flair’ for picking ‘the right man’ for the job.

    Looking on the bright side, it has saved the hassle of deselecting him and once he’s lost his platform as an MP he’ll just be another obnoxious loudmouth amongst many.

    • So , good riddance to the ghastly John Mann . But as well as his thoroughly Right Wing Labour politics he did have a pro Leave position on Brexit that accords with most of his constituents. So we use the current reselection process, with its now central role for the NEC , to replace lots of Labour Righwingers with “Leftwingers” (in most cases Momentum cronies of Lansman – that’s how it now works – from one cronyist in-crowd to a different one let’s face it) who will support Labour’s essentially, beyond the bullshit, Remain and second Referendum position ! A position which is anathema to the constituents in so many Northern and midlands constituencies , with Rightwingers we’d all like to deselect, in place. This will not go well !

      • jpenney 08/09/2019 at 5:33 pm

        As an infiltrator from the ‘Tooting Popular Front’ you are not a fan of Corbyn or his policies so it comes as no surprise that you are also out of tune with the vast majority of the Labour Party’s voters and members.

      • jpenney, “Remain and second Referendum position ! A position which is anathema to the constituents in so many Northern and midlands constituencies”

        How do you know, they haven’t changed their mind without having another referendum?

      • “But as well as his thoroughly Right Wing Labour politics he did have a pro Leave position on Brexit that accords with most of his constituents.”

        That sentence encapsulates the terrible dilemma engendered by the Lexit Popular Front of UKEA. Brains as scrambled as the breakfast eggs on a daily basis.

      • That wasn’t explicit enough, I realise. The ‘dilemma’ is that the Confused Brigade (of Tooting) finds itself backing conservatives rather than left-wing Labour supporters who reject the tenets of Mr Toad and the ERG.

  2. SteveH.”Obnoxious loudmouth” sums Mann up perfectly. It’s a pity he stayed this long to do as much damage as he has done to good MPs such as Chris Williamson.

  3. The last acceptable casual racism and bigotory against the gypsys….How much longer do we let travellers which is a more accurate discription….take the blame for everything thats going wrong in our cosy community….. I know that its hardley a vote winner but the traveller community have been victimised long enough….why?…is it our inbuilt destrust of the Romany the Irish the foreign….They are not perfect..but some of the hatred by people like Mann is staggering…..and that’s because they are a vote looser and an easey target….!

  4. Yes, I’m sure the Tories/Establishment are more than grateful to him for all his false and phony accusations and claims of anti-semitism in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, and for all the faux outrage and condemnation he has dissembled, and ESPECIALLY for the hit-job he did on Ken Livingstone when he just happened – by chance of course – to be at LP HQ (or wherever it was) with a film crew when Ken arrived there several hours after doing the radio interview. He really *IS* a fascist’s fascist! And a psychopath of course!

    Anyway, I just happened to check out the wikipedia list of polling results a few moments ago (which I haven’t done for two or three days), and the latest yougov poll (for the Sunday Times) is even MORE over the top than it normally is, and somewhat at odds with the preceding two polls conducted at the same time:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_next_United_Kingdom_general_election

    • In actual fact, it must be five or six days or so since I last checked the wikipedia list of polling results, cos when I just clicked on the above link to check that it worked OK, I noticed that there’s an ICM poll, conducted between Aug 30th and Sept 3rd, which has TWO different results! Hold cursor over the d in brackets in the column on the far right of the page for explanation.

      • Ah, I just this minute noticed that the ComRes poll has two different results as well, and the Hanbury Strategy poll a bit further down has an explanation regarding the result (hold cursor over the a and the b and the c).

      • I just checked the wikipedia list of polling results to see if any new polls had been added to the list since this morning, and there was – ie a Deltapoll that puts the Tories three points ahead of labour. But the weird thing is that the two polls that I mentioned above that each had TWO results (having posed two different scenarios), they each now have only ONE result, and the result that has been removed in each case is the one that had the LP doing better. Very odd that! But the page that I linked to in my 9.33am post is still up at the time of writing.

    • Good riddance to that right wing attack dog.

      However, my own (repeated) experience of Travellers is when they illegally occupy private land and leave it, always, like a rubbish dump often with faeces dotted about. This then has to be cleaned at public expense.

      If some of the travelling community want to feel less victimised, it’s hardly rocket science to think how to remedy the situation.

      • Shameful. Blaming the victimised isn’t what socialism’s about and neither is supporting the concept of land ownership.
        Other children whose parents move often are welcomed into school each time they move but not gypsies – that needs to change.
        If some gypsies steal it’s hardly surprising given society’s treatment of them.
        The nimbys who hate gypsies also view the residents of social housing in the same way.
        You OK with that too?

  5. “John Mann’s local Labour members…… said to be celebrating his departure and the opportunity to replace him.”

    As would I. Becoming our opponent’s A/S Czar is vile and supremely disloyal of John Mann.

    Like Tom Watson, he is as such an abomination to Labour and a gross insult to every single Labour member and supporter, to decency and to Labour values.

    i) he knows accusations of systemic Labour anti-semitism are not justified and actually a dishonest attempt to weaken Labour’s first-ever pro-Palestine-rights Leader

    ii) shame on him.

    iii) If he had any decency (which obviously he hasn’t) he’d admit his duplicity and immediately resign his seat immediately which would become a pre-GE opportunity for Labour to show that AS is usually pro-Palestiniianism and dislike of Israel’s behaviour under its current hard-right likudist administration.

    Go John Go – and never come back!

  6. Lets see just how big an impact mann’ll have. My guess is very, VERY little because he’s just shit at whatever he does.

    In other news I see angela ‘funny tinge’ smith has gone over to the lib dims. (You’d have to have put £10k on to win a penny, so small were the odds)

    Not bright enough to make a speech of her own, she had to plaigiarise berger’s ‘national crisis’ crap.

    • Toffee I am totally ashamed that a person of the calibre of Angela Smith was ever chosen as a Labour PPC in the first place. I was so glad that when she made her “funny Tinge” comment she was no longer associated with us. Now she has joined the Lib Dems. Given Jo Swinson’s performance I can only say the Lib Dems deserve her and I hope a few of her erstwhile colleagues on the Labour backbenches join her soon.

  7. I notice the Groan had one of its famous misprints :

    “Senior Labour MP”

    I think they meant “senile”

    Any bets on a Tory candidate for the HoL to make up the wages?

    Actually – I wouldn’t want him to resign his seat at this time – it would give him far too much publicity and the media yet another stick.

    • RH
      How do you know the Grauniad coverage of AS in party is vexatious, as far as I can see they have never allowed comments on any of the offending articles,
      I know from experience when I try to make a comment through another thread my contribution is very quickly taken down
      Speaks volumes about MSM and toilet papers, if any of it was remotely true we would have been wiped out two years ago,
      Celebrate the fact we are the least Anti Semitic party in this country, for the simple reason we are the only party doing something about it, all of the others sweep it under the carpet, they have no idea how prevalent it is in their parties
      Finally John Mann once said roughly 5% of the country is Anti Semitic, in the Labour party a tiny fraction of that number are deemed anti semitic, we are 40 times less Anti Semitic than the rest of the country, it is statistically insignificant

      • Doug – Do I know? I’ve been banned by the Groan for ages for pointing out various incontrovertible facts, but I’m particular for pointing out that their strap line about their journalism ‘changing the story’ was truly ironic. They really don’t like their hypocrisy being challenged and flounced around like a church- going Victorian wife caught in flagrente.

  8. I initially thought this was a new development – ie John Mann being appointed the Government’s anti-semitism ‘tsar’ – but on doing a little research, I see that it kicked off in July (and was being reported on July 23rd). Funny isn’t it how it’s anti-semitism specific, and doesn’t include other forms of racism, such as Islamophobia, for example. Talking of which, I wonder why the EHRC hasn’t started an inquiry into Islamophobia in the Tory Party, as the Moslem Council of Britain urged them to do about four months ago. I guess they figure that it’s more important to investigate something that’s mainly illusory and contrived and conjured up out of thin air than to investigate something which is real and rampant:

    https://mcb.org.uk/press-releases/muslim-council-of-britain-submits-formal-complaint-to-ehrc-over-conservative-party-islamophobia/

    • Funny isn’t it how it’s anti-semitism specific, and doesn’t include other forms of racism, such as Islamophobia, for example

      Is it?

      I thought antisemitism was the ONLY form of racism…Islamophobia doesn’t exist (Certainly not in the tory party) and john mann can freely make sweeping claims about the travelling community in an antisocial context; while anne morris can use the ‘n’ word at will and without lasting meaningful consequences.

      Oh and the lib dims will accept people who describe BAME folk’s skin as having a ‘funny tinge’.

      But let’s not forget stella greasy’s tweet, not 8 weeks after calling out star sports for ‘casual racism’ against diane abbot, then claiming she didn’t know or understand what constituted casual racism…

      https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/what-can-learn-labour-mps-12014677

      When’s she resigning?

      • I just came across the following by chance whilst doing a search related to John Mann – ie the wikispooks entry about him. It’s not that long, but whatever you do, please, please read the letter reproduced at the end of it from a 90 year old Jewish doctor to John Mann. It’s beyond brilliant!:

        https://wikispooks.com/wiki/John_Mann

      • Can I underline Allan’s recommendation to read the letter from the 90 year old Jewish doctor in his last comment,it sums up the disgusting little guttersnipe Mann very well.

      • I just did a search about twenty minutes ago to try and ascertain where the doctor’s letter was published, and in the process……… Well, read about it for yourself, and if you hadn’t already concluded that John Mann is totally evil, this should convince you:

        https://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/10/23/desperate-john-mann-falsely-denounces-jewish-doctors-letter-criticising-him/

        PS I don’t know if it was originally posted on his blog, but Tony Greenstein posted it in an article at the time.

      • So how can John Mann be fit for the position, raise the question with those who appointed him

      • If you’ve read (in the voxpolitical article that I linked to above) what John Mann said about the letter on his facebook page – ie that Dr Glatt didn’t write the letter and that it was a forgery – then given that the doctor DID write the letter, I think it’s safe to say that most of what Mann said is fabrication and complete and utter lies. Mann may very well have phoned Dr Glatt and spoken to him, and if he DID, I have no doubt that his reason for doing so was so as to unnerve him and intimidate him, just by doing so, knowing that the doctor wouldn’t be expecting him to do that. And just to be crystal clear, I don’t mean intimidate the doctor ON the phone, but just by phoning him, not that he sounds like someone who COULD be easily unnerved and intimidated.

        The point is though that all the stuff Mann says (on his facebook page) about the doctor being mortified to hear what had been written in his name etc, is obviously pure, unadulterated lies and fabrication, and just epitomises how diabolical he is, and I mean TRUELY diabolical. AND was undoubtedly concocted and designed to (try to) freak the doctor out, which is something that psychopaths just lurve to do, just as Mann did with Ken Livingstone. Evil people know that by ‘confronting’ someone with their evilness AND just how evil they are by, in this case, writing and posting a litany of falsehoods on their facebook page – most people are completely unnerved by it, and mindfuckers like John Mann positively thrive on it, and really DO get a big high/kick from doing so. And if Mann spoke to Dr Glatt on the phone, which it seems he did, then he was probably all ultra friendly and charming so that it would (potentially) freak the doctor out when he then posted his completely false account (of what happened when he spoke to Dr Glatt on the phone) on his facebook page.

        The psychopathic tactic of Shock and Awe is all the more effective when, in this case, you’ve phoned the person and come across all friendly and amiable and charming (and Mann probably DID invite the doctor to Parliament, as such!) , and then you hit them with a series of complete falsehoods – ie a totally fabricated version of events, and shake them to the core of their being, as such, at least THAT’s the objective, and it normally DOES (but I think the good doctor already had Mann sussed out precisely because of what he did to Ken Livingstone, and so it didn’t have the desired effect on him).

        PS My apologies for this post turning out to be so long.

  9. Ha! Yeah…As ‘independent’ as the ‘independence’ of IPSO or IOPC, no doubt..

  10. I think this article sums up the hypocrisy of John Mann – a selective anti racist. While loudly proclaiming his justified disgust at antisemetism he appears to be oblivious to racism directed at Irish and Roma Travellers.
    Perhaps if the word “Jew” was substituted for the word “Traveller” throughout the abhorrent publication he might understand the offence that has been caused and apologise for his endorsement of the booklet in question.
    In relation to John’s resignation, he really had no choice given his siding with Boris Johnson on the no deal Brexit issue. John simply jumped before he was pushed.
    However it should be noted that he was assisted in this process by being gifted a well paid job by the Tories. There was no selection process , he was just handed a well paid, publicly funded job it on a plate. Understandably he grabbed with both hands because he knew his career as a Labour MP was over.
    I hope that when Jeremy gets into No 10 he will put a stop to this blatant form of privilege and introduce legislation requiring all publicly funded jobs to be subject to the normal recruitment and selection exercise as is used in e.g. the Civil Service .

  11. He talked about anti-Semitism in Europe but filed to mention Orban in Hungary or the fact that Boris Johnson welcomed his election.

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