John Mann pledges to confront Ken Livingstone again over 'Hitler backed Zionism' comment

Speaking at an Israel charity event, Mr Mann said he had been accused of being part of a “conspiracy” for standing up against antisemitism.


John Mann, the Labour MP for Bassetlaw, has vowed to name and shame people who sent him abusive messages after he publicly called Ken Livingstone “a Nazi apologist” for claiming that Hitler backed Zionism.

Speaking at an Israel charity event on Monday night, Mr Mann said he had been accused of being part of a “conspiracy” for standing up against antisemitism.

He said: “I am going to publish the emails that I have received, and if I have time, the tweets. It would take a long time to go through them.

“The world can judge why on this issue, but on no other, I am accused of being part of a conspiracy.”

The JC understands that Mr Mann met Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Wednesday night to discuss the the rise of antisemitism within the party. Mr Mann said: "Jeremy Corbyn confirmed there was no place nor excuse for any form of antisemitism in the labour party. He said he realises there is a problem and we look forward to his bold action plan to implement Shami Chakrabarti's forthcoming report and it's recommendations."

Mr Mann, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, said he would also confront Mr Livingstone again at a Home Affairs Select Committee hearing with a copy of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

Noting that Mr Livingstone promised take to dinner anyone who could disprove that Hitler supported Zionism, Mr Mann said: “When I go in front of the parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee, I will be providing a copy of the [Nazi] manifesto along with an extract on Zionism from a book called Mein Kampf written in 1925 by a young Adolf Hitler.

“Neither Hitler nor the Nazi party ever supported anything to do with the Jewish people having their own state.

“It was exactly the opposite - Livingstone made it up, Hitler was not a Zionist. Livingstone now owes me a meal.”

Mr Mann famously confronted the former London Mayor on his way to the BBC Westminster studio last month. But Mr Mann told guests at the annual Wizo dinner that the televised spat was “totally unplanned”.

He said on his way to talk about the 1989 Hillsborough disaster on Jeremy Vine’s BBC Radio 2 show when he saw Mr Livingstone.

He said: “We can all choose to walk by, or we can choose not to walk by.”

He added: “That is why it is in all our interests, and it has always been in all our interests to stand up against prejudice.”

He went on to urge guests “to be part of that fight as well,” adding: “You need to be better organised.”

He said like-minded MPs, including Labour’s Ian Austin, who was also at the event: “Will never, ever stand on the side when the racists are there. That’s the least, as elected politicians in the British Parliament, we can do.”

Noting that he was anti-establishment, he said he would not encourage people to sign a petition circulating around the community, which called for Mr Mann to be given a knighthood. “My family would disown me if I ever accepted such an accolade,” he laughed.

Mr Mann, who also spoke about his drive to support victims of child abuse, received a standing ovation at the event.

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