Published On: Sat, Sep 7th, 2019

Labour crisis: Corbyn condemned as MP set to quit in shock blow – ‘Party will not survive’ | Politics | News

John Mann has announced he is quitting as Labour MP for Bassetlaw, Nottingham, as he launched a scathing attack on Jeremy Corbyn. He declared the Labour Party “will not survive” the erosion of principles under Mr Corbyn’s leadership and said he did not think the Labour leader was “appropriate to be prime minister”. Mr Mann, who served as a Labour MP for 18 years, will be leaving the role to take up a full-time role as the Government’s anti-semitism chief.

Speaking to the Sunday Times Mr Mann launched a scathing attack against the Labour Leader and claims Mr Corbyn has given the “green light to anti-semites”.

He said: “The party will not survive the erosion of its principles and its soul by this racist infiltration.

“Corbyn has given the green light to the anti-semites and having done so has sat there and done nothing to turn that round.”

Mr Mann’s decision to quit could raise the prospect of an early by-election in his marginal seat which could see the party lose a seat in the Commons.

Mr Mann, whose great-grandfather helped form the Leeds branch of the Labour Party in 1906, said leaving the Commons is a “big sacrifice”.

He said: “If we had a dynamic Labour Party with a leader with a vision for positively changing the country, I would instead be spending all my time trying to get that person into No 10. But we don’t.

“I could not have stood at the next election and looked people in the eye and answered them the question they will ask an awful lot, ‘If I vote for you I’m also voting for Jeremy Corbyn to be prime minister’.

“In the 2017 election, nobody thought Corbyn would be prime minister… so I was able to say ‘he’s not going to be prime minister’.

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“But I can’t do that this time and I’m not prepared to lie to my voters. And neither am I prepared to tell them that Corbyn is appropriate to be prime minister. Because I don’t think he is.”

The MP hopes to use his new role as antisemitism chief to challenge Mr Corbn on the issue, and said: “I can have a bigger impact in this role than I can by staying inside the Commons, and, rather than it taking up 5% of my time, it will be taking up 95% of my time, which means I begin to hold internet companies, universities and others better to account and every single political party bar none.”

He added: “Every time I go into a meeting with a group of Jewish people, I wince when they raise the issue of the Labour Party and Corbyn.

“It is impossible to overstate the anger that I have about that… He has not just hijacked my political party; he has hijacked its soul and its ethics. I will never forgive him for that.”

Labour MPs have responded to the news on Twitter, with Wes Streeting writing: “I have nothing but admiration for John Mann – a courageous champion against antisemitism a friend I’ve learned a lot from on the Treasury Committee.”

Kevin Barron said: “Good luck for the future to John Mann who has done so much to tackle the terrible scourge of antisemitism.”

Another user said of the news: “John Mann is an incredible person who stands with his convictions and will not excuse the antisemtism embodied by the Labour party and Corbyn. A man of integrity and honour.”

More to follow…

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