Home Estate Planning ‘First I’ve heard of it’: Is the government about to sack antisemitism adviser Lord Mann?

‘First I’ve heard of it’: Is the government about to sack antisemitism adviser Lord Mann?

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The government is planning to sack Lord John Mann as its independent antisemitism adviser, but he said it is the “first I have heard of it”.

Radio station LBC reported the former Labour MP for Bassetlaw was going to get the boot, as the government looks to replace him with a new independent peer.

It said there are talks about ousting him before his five-year term is up in July this year. He was appointed by Theresa May. Through his role, he provides advice to Michael Gove, the communities secretary, on tackling antisemitism.

The radio station reports the government is considering appointing Lord Walney as an independent adviser, or fellow former Labour peer, Ian Austin, who is currently the government’s trade envoy to Israel.

Speaking to City A.M., however, Lord John Mann said: “This is the first I have heard of it. My term in office runs until the end of July. I will continue to do anything that the Jewish communal leaders regard as helpful in combating antisemitism alongside them.”

When City A.M. reached out for further response, a Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) spokesperson said: “The independent advisor on antisemitism is a critical role that makes a significant contribution.”

“No decisions on the appointment have been made.”

Lord John Mann was a former Labour politician who hit the headlines in 2016 when he confronted the ex-mayor of London Ken Livingstone.

He condemned the ex-mayor after Livingstone made comments appearing to call Hitler a ‘Zionist’.

Under Jeremy Corbyn, Mann was a key critic of his stance on antisemitism, before he stood down at the 2019 election, to take up a peerage in the Lords, as an independent.

Lord Mann has been seen as an ally to the UK Jewish community, campaigning on antisemitism. The Community Security Trust reported 4,103 antisemitic incidents in 2023, with two-thirds (2,699) after the 7 October attacks by Hamas on Israel. This was the highest ever in a calendar year.

It was reported by other media, that some UK Jews are considering leaving the country amid the rise in hatred.

Last month, he urged UK politicians to step up their fight against antisemitism.

Weekly demonstrations for Gaza each Saturday for the last few months have also seen countless arrests, including for alleged racially aggravated incidents and support for Hamas, which is proscribed.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews and Community Security Trust declined to comment.

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