POLITICS

Jeremy Corbyn Set For Clash With John Mann At Anti-Semitism Group Meeting

The Labour leader has agreed to meet with the man who confronted Livingstone

04/05/2016 11:04

Jeremy Corbyn is set for a showdown meeting with the Labour MP who accused Ken Livingstone of being a “Nazi apologist”, the HuffPost UK has learned.

The Labour leader has agreed to meet members of the All Party Parliamentary Group on tackling anti-Semitism – chaired by John Mann - later this month.

The meeting will bring Corbyn face-to-face with the MP he wanted disciplined after confronting Livingstone outside TV studios last week.

The HuffPost UK revealed last week that Corbyn had yet to set a date for a meeting with the group even as the anti-Semitism row engulfed the party.

But today Mann confirmed to HuffPost UK the date was finally in the diary, and would be within the next three weeks.

He said: “It’s a very important meeting. It will be a full and frank discussion, and hopefully very positive.”

Mann was summoned to the Labour whips office last Thursday, after angrily denouncing Livingstone as a “Nazi apologist.”

His comments came after the former London Mayor had claimed Adolf Hitler was initially a Zionist before “he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.”

Livingstone was suspended from the party for his comments – and subsequent lack of apology – while Mann was told it was “completely inappropriate” to be involved in public rows on television.

It is believed Corbyn discussed suspending Mann for his part in the fracas, but this was not welcomed by the whips office.

Last week, Labour MP Wes Streeting – also a member of the APPG on anti-Semitism – told HuffPost UK it was “totally unacceptable and unsatisfactory” that Corbyn’s team had yet to set a date for a meeting between the leader and MPs.

He said: “We’ve been told it will happen sometime after the May elections but it doesn’t reassure me that it’s being taken seriously and the really disappointing thing is we made that approach to Jeremy – not to go in and beat him around the head about the anti-Semitism issues in the Labour Party – but to offer to help to give some practical advice on how the Labour Party could improve its approach and had this meeting taken place already the Labour Party might have been better equipped to deal with it.

“The meeting was never arranged, even today we haven’t got a date for that meeting. I think this is totally unacceptable and unsatisfactory. This is a serious issue that is deeply damaging the reputation of the Labour party and it’s not just Jewish voters out there who are questioning whether the Labour Party is for them, it’s lots of decent-minded people who don’t like racism.”

Labour has now set up an inquiry into anti-Semitism and racism within the party, which will be led by Shami Chakrabarti, the former director of human rights organisation Liberty.

Corbyn said he will also be proposing a new ‘code of conduct’ on anti-Semitism to the party’s national executive committee next month.

But frontbencher Diane Abbott - one of Corbyn's closet allies - this weekend said it was a "smear" to say Labour has a problem with anti-Semitism.

Another of Corbyn’s supporters, Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey, later claimed the anti-Semitism storm was merely “mood music” being used to challenge the party leadership.

 

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