John Mann

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John Mann

John Mann was the Labour Party MP for Bassetlaw. He was elected in June 2001 and served as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the former Labour Minister for the Olympics Tessa Jowell, and for Richard Caborn, then Minister for Sport.

He sat on the Treasury Committee from from 2009 until 2015. [1]

In the 2015 UK general election Mann was re-elected with a majority of 8,843. [2]


Born in Leeds in 1960, Mann grew up in Pudsey. He secured a scholarship to attend Bradford Grammar School and went on to study Economics at the University of Manchester.[3] Mann was on campus at the same time as Danny Rich and got involved with Labour Students in the National Union of Students (NUS), eventually becoming the chair. He advised the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) that they were capable of becoming a significant power bloc within NUS. This was based on the recognition that the membership of UJS – just like the Jewish Labour Movement – outnumbered 'every far-left group put together', with equivalent power to wield in the Labour Party.[4]

In 2012 Mann's biography on his website read as follows:

He is very much a “hands-on” Member of Parliament getting involved in issues that directly affect the day to day lives of his constituents. The campaigns and the issues that he has raised in Parliament are in direct response to concerns that have been raised by Bassetlaw residents. This has led to John running high profile campaigns on consumer debt, heroin and treatment for addiction, the overzealous staking of grave stones and the double charging by solicitors for miner compensation claims. In 2003 he ran a successful campaign to keep Bassetlaw Hospital A&E open and in 2006 he won the campaign to stop Bassetlaw Primary Care Trust from being merged into a wider county-wide primary care trust. In this current climate he continues to speak out on local health provision and the impact of the cuts on behalf of the people of Bassetlaw.
John sits on the influential Treasury Committee, where he has tackled the Chancellor over road fuel taxes and has challenged leading bankers over their bonuses. John has previously served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Minister for the Olympics Tessa Jowell, and for Richard Caborn, then Minister for Sport[5]

In 2008:

John Mann MP is the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister for the Olympics: Tessa Jowell. He has previously served on the influential Treasury Select Committee where he led the campaign for more transparency in the consumer credit industry. Before entering Parliament he previously worked for the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers (AEEU) as Head of Research and Education and as the National Training Officer at the TUC.
John is currently chair of the Parliamentary Committee against Antisemitism.[6]

Parliamentary Career

John Mann was first elected as the Labour Member of Parliament for Bassetlaw on 7 June 2001; re-elected a further four times, he stood down as a Labour MP on 28 October 2019 to take up an appointment by the Chancellor as Steward and Bailiff of the Three Hundreds of Chiltern, which is a legal device that allows the resignation of MPs.[7] At the 2019 General Election, Bassetlaw fell to the Conservatives with the largest swing away from Labour (18 points) in the country.[8][9]In the early part of his parliamentary career, Mann travelled to India, Kazakhstan, Botswana, Nigeria, Lebanon and Syria, consorting with Shell and Nestlé. During his time as an MP, the only committees and sub-committees on which Mann served were those of the Treasury.[7] In one of her last acts as Prime Minister, Theresa May made Mann her independent advisor on antisemitism.[10]On 8 September 2019, it was reported that Mann had been interviewed by police over a 'hate incident' following a complaint from a Romany Gypsy family about a 'highly offensive and racist' booklet Mann had published stigmatising the Gypsy Traveller community.[11] Three years earlier, this had resulted in the abandonment of a planned event co-hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Gypsies, Roma and Travellers and the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism.[12] On 10 September 2019, May elevated Mann to the House of Lords.

File:The Oldest Hatred.jpg
John Mann, Antisemitism: The Oldest Hatred (Bloomsbury Continuum, 2015).

Jewish Chronicle Power 100

In 2008, The Jewish Chronicle declared 'the top spots' on their second annual list of those who 'wield the greatest influence on British Jewry'. Mann is listed at number 17[13]. The criteria for being listed is described as 'those with a vision for Jewish life in this country and who did their utmost to bring it about using either money; persuasion; religion; culture; political or social leadership; or simply inspiring through word and deed'. In order for someone to be listed in the top 20, it was generally necessary to demonstrate influence in more than one of the spheres[14].

Mann is described as 'one of the most powerful opinion influencers through his chairmanship of the The Parliamentary Committee against Antisemitism'. Others included in the list were Lord Levy (number 9), Ron Prosor (number 10), Daniel Finkelstein (number 11), Trevor Chinn (number 14), Jonathan Freedland (number 18), Julia Neuberger (number 19), Lord Janner (number 20), Prime Minister Gordon Brown (number 29) & Poju Zabludowicz (number 30)[15].

Stance on fracking

FrackWell.png This article is part of the Spinwatch Fracking Portal and project

In April 2014, Mann spoke out against Dart Energy's plans to drill on the former site of a huge explosive factory - a decision he described as "beyond comprehension". [16]

IGas was awarded two licensing blocks in Mann's constituency by the Oil and Gas Authority under its 14th licensing round in 2015.[17] In January 2016, Nottinghamshire County Council approved an IGas application to drill up to 12 groundwater monitoring boreholes at a proposed shale gas at Misson, despite strong public opposition. [18] At a council meeting prior to the decision, Mann had said the application was inappropriate because it would industrialise the countryside around Misson. In November 2016, the council further approved an application by the company to test drill for shale gas at the same site. [19] On the decision, Mann said:

'Whilst I am pleased that the arguments that I put forward about lorry movements have been addressed I am tremendously disappointed at this decision. The decision of where fracking takes place should be determined by local people.
No one from Misson, where I know they are mainly vehemently opposed, had a say and none of the councillors who voted on the decision come from Misson.
I still think that we should put a pause on fracking - whilst a full, independent assessment of the risks was undertaken. Most importantly, fracking should only go ahead with the full consent and involvement of local people, who should have the final say on any application and in securing any potential benefits or investment from fracking for their community.' [20]

In November 2016, the Environment Agency gave Dart Energy, a subsidiary of IGas, permission to conduct exploratory drilling at Tinker Lane, between Blyth and Barnby Moor, bringing the possibility of a second shale gas site in Mann's constituency a step closer. [21]

Mann's constituency also includes four licensing blocks awarded to INEOS, where there are a plans for a total of four shale wells, four hrz frac wells and 2D and 3D seismic surveying. No applications are currently underway.

Voting record

Mann has generally voted in favour of increased regulation on fracking. [22]

  • 26 January 2015: voted in favour of making fracking companies apply for an environmental permit before conducting exploratory drilling. He was also the only Nottinghamshire MP who voted in favour of an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill to include an 18 month moratorium on fracking. Mann said on the vote:
'This week I voted to halt fracking until we have had a full, independent assessment of the risks and benefits. Whilst I have an open mind on fracking, I can see no reason why it should not be put on hold until we have more evidence. Then local people should be able to decide whether they want fracking in their area. The debate on fracking itself was a farce. The Tory Minister, from Hastings, refused twelve times to let me ask her why local people shouldn’t have the final say over fracking in their area.'
One fracking planning application has already been turned down in Bassetlaw and IGas is currently exploring the possibility of fracking in Misson. Due to its natural resources Bassetlaw is likely to be at the forefront of attempts to frack which is why I have been pushing for a moratorium on fracking and for local people to decide whether it should go ahead.'[23]
  • 11 February 2015: voted against requiring more pre-conditions for where fracking can take place.
  • 16 December 2015: voted against weakening regulations on fracking in protected areas and national parks.

Influencing Social Media=

On the subject of social media, Mann suggested that 'The police and the Crown Prosecution Service, who have powers, need to issue what I call a Twitter or Facebook antisocial behaviour order to ban such people from the particular medium by which they are criminally abusing, bullying and intimidating people. [...] I do not think that the law needs changing: I think that it needs using inventively. I call on the Crown Prosecution Service and the police to use the internet equivalent of an ASBO to target some of these people and close them down. It is not free speech; it is criminal abuse. The sanction would be a criminal sanction agreed by a magistrate or judge and jury, so by definition, stopping such abusers would not be closing down free speech but protecting it'.[24]

In November 2014, Mann travelled with Conservative MP Matthew Offord to Dublin to visit Facebook and Twitter.[25] Offord recalls that:

The hon. Member for Bassetlaw (John Mann) and I went to Dublin with the all-party parliamentary group against antisemitism to visit Facebook and Twitter. I am sure that he will remember that when we spoke to Facebook, its reaction to any kind of racist, sexist, homophobic, misogynistic comment was, “We must remove it as soon as possible.” However, when we spoke to Twitter, it likened any such posts to comments made in the street to someone as they pass by. We felt that was certainly not an appropriate response. I would like to see the Government and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport consider legislation to prevent such comments from being allowed to remain online'.[26]

In September 2018, Mann was part of a delegation of MPs to visit the social media giants in Washington and New York.

Attacks on the Left

On 28 April 2016, Ken Livingstone spoke to Vanessa Feltz on BBC Radio London to defend Naz Shah. In the course of the conversation, he said that 'when Hitler won his election in 1932, his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews'.[27] Interestingly, John Mann says that, at the time these comments were being made, he was in a meeting sorting out assistance to, and planning a briefing for, Naz Shah in the Bradford community because she seemed genuine in her apology and was prepared to 'engage on the right terms ... on our terms'.[28] As Livingstone was making his way to the Daily Politics studio later the same day, Mann was apparently approached by Michael Crick for his views on Livingstone.[29] Mann accosted Livingstone in front of Crick's camera crew, calling him a 'fucking disgrace' and a 'nazi apologist' and recommending that he read Mein Kampf.[30] Mann subsequently tried to claim that Livingstone had called Hitler a Zionist.[31]

At a protest against antisemitism in the Labour Party organised by the Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies of British Jews on 26 March 2018, Mann said:

I want to apologise on behalf of every Labour MP that you have had to come here today.
What is going wrong with our party that this event has even needed to be considered.
Some of them glory in being called anti-Zionists - racists that is the word for them.
We have to drive these people out of the Labour Party.[32]

When Mann announced his decision to stand down as an MP in September 2019, he blamed his decision on Jeremy Corbyn's record as leader and handling of the antisemitism crisis.[33]


Likud-Herut UK meme celebrating John Mann MP

Despite insisting that he 'wouldn’t accept the money' in relation to his work on antisemitism, Mann has done just that. In 2008, he began to receive donations from the Parliamentary Committee against Anti-Semitism (PCAA, the precursor to the Antisemitism Policy Trust), initially for visits to Berlin (25–26 January)[34] and Jerusalem (23–25 February).[35]

In 2010 and 2011, PCAA covered the cost (respectively estimated at £20,000 and £30,000) of a researcher in Mann's office who provided support to the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism. The register of interests for August 2010 lists Danny Stone, Director of PCAA.[2] as a member of Mann's staff alongside Richard Angell, Ewan Nicholas and Mann's wife Joanna White. Stone's online CV states that he acts as 'Secretary to the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, working closely with many parties in Westminster including SNP, SDLP, Plaid and Green parties' while also preparing parliamentary reports and briefings.[3] Stone's entry in the parliamentary register states that PCAA 'provides research and other administrative support to members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism'. It is unclear whether the research was provided by Stone, who has no background in research, or whether the PCAA funding went towards the cost of another researcher. Stone remains associated with Mann in the parliamentary register until June 2012, then he crops up again in 2014–17 as a member of staff of Natascha Engel (who chaired the 2012 Inquiry Into Electoral Conduct instigated by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Antisemitism) and affiliated with Mann again in 2018.

Ewan Nicholas's online CV identifies him as a parliamentary researcher for Mann and lists wide-ranging duties commensurate with such a post.[4] By November 2011, Nicholas had been replaced by Mila Buckner.[5]

In his online CV, Angell admits to being the parliamentary and press officer for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Antisemitism between July 2007 and March 2009.[6] In this capacity, he 'managed the relationships of the committee with other MPs, led on government liaison and co-ordinated communications with the press to ensure the full implementation of the recommendations made by the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism'. As APPGs are unable to employ people, Angell was listed as a member of Mann's staff. The same CV suggests that, in March 2009, Angell took up the role of parliamentary and equalities manager at Community Union, which funded Mann's controversial anti-social behaviour pamphlet. However, the parliamentary register of interest shows that Angell was still being sponsored by Mann until April 2013,[7] before leaving for Australia the following month.

In May 2009, Mann accepted travel costs estimated at £1,001 from the American Jewish Committee (AJC).[36] The destination and duration of the visit is not recorded on the Electoral Commission website, but the parliamentary register of members' interests notes a trip to Washington DC from 6 to 9 May 2009, to attend the American Jewish Committee Annual Meeting.[37] In the first three days of November 2009, he visited Israel as a guest of the Israel-Britain Commonwealth Association to give a speech at a Balfour dinner; the flight was estimated to cost £1,200;[38] accommodation was covered by the British Embassy.[39]

From 6 to 19 August 2014, Mann toured Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua as a guest of the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism (ICCA) to the tune of £3,986.[40] The ICCA's generosity again came to the fore with an eleven-day trip to San Francisco in September 2014 to attend a meeting on internet hate crime at Google headquarters.[41]

In 2016–17, the PCAA Foundation supported visits to Berlin, Washington DC and Israel, the Palestinian Territories and Qatar. The latter, which took place between 2 and 6 January 2016, was part of an 'APPG Against Antisemitism delegation to discuss and seek out good practice in addressing antisemitism and racism in football and on the internet'.[42] According to the Antisemitism Policy Trust, which organised the visit, 'The Delegation met with social media entrepreneurs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MKs of a number of Israeli political parties, with the Knesset Speaker, representatives of Hapoel Katamon and ISRAFANS, the Israeli and Palestinian FA’s, Bnei Sakhnin and Kick-It Out. They were party to a joint committee session of the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) with The Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Knesset. The title of the meeting was 'Efforts by the British Parliament to Address the Rise of Antisemitism and Hate Crimes'.'[43]

In February 2018, the AJC kindly covered an eight-day trip to Chicago, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Boston to meet with US political representatives to discuss the rise of antisemitism'.[44] In September of the same year, the Antisemitism Policy Trust covered the cost of a 'Delegation of MPs with the APPG Against Antisemitism to visit Washington and New York for meetings with social media companies and officials about antisemitism' in Washington and New York. The total cost of the trip was declared by the APPG in the range £9,001-10,500.[45] of which Mann's share was £1,918.[46] In June 2019, Mann returned to the US as a guest of the AJC to speak on a panel about antisemitism at their international conference, at a cost of £3,528.[47]

At least three visits to Israel are missing from Mann's entry in the Electoral Commission website. Between 23 and 25 February 2008, Mann visited Jerusalem to attend the second Global Forum on antisemitism; his travel and accommodation were paid by the Parliamentary Committee Against Antisemitism.[48] Between 28 and 31 May 2013, Mann was in Jerusalem to attend and speak at the fourth 'Global Forum on Combating Antisemitism, organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel'; his travel and accommodation (estimated to cost £852.56) were covered by the Ministry and the Israeli Embassy in London.[49] Between 18 and 21 March 2018, the Antisemitism Policy Trust organised a delegation to Jerusalem for members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism 'for meetings about racism in football and to attend the 6th Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism'.[50] The total cost of the trip was estimated in the range of £1,501-3,000;[51] Mann put the cost of his travel and hotel at £818.23.[50]

Looking at the donations made to Bassetlaw CLP for the period Mann was the constituency's MP, there is a clear pattern of cash donations being made by trade unions between May 2001 and November 2014. Then, on 7 November 2014, the CLP accepted a cash donation of £2,500 from Sir Trevor Chinn. This donation was repeated – and doubled in May 2017. At the same time, the CLP accepted £1,500 cash from Sir Trevor Pears to help Mann regain his seat; this combined total of £6,500 would have accounted for a sizeable proportion of funding for a snap general election (in the region of £15,000).[52]




  1. John Mann MP, accessed 18 May 2015
  2. GENERAL ELECTION 2015: John Mann retains Bassetlaw but turns fire on Labour leadership Worksop Guardian, 8 May 2015, accessed 18 May 2015
  3. Simon Round Interview: John Mann MP, The Jewish Chronicle, 12 February 2009.
  4. Richard Angell in conversation with John Mann Antisemitism: Taking a Stand, 3 September 2017.
  5. John Mann: A different kind of MP, accessed 29 June 2012
  6. About John Mann, John Mann MP, accessed 17 April 2008.
  7. 7.0 7.1 John Mann Parliamentary Career, Parliament website, Accessed 27 May 2020.
  8. Bassetlaw Parliamentary Election Result, Bassetlaw District Council, 12 December 2019.
  9. Mike Wright Conservatives take Bassetlaw with biggest swing of night - ending 90 years of Labour dominance, The Telegraph, 13 December 2019.
  10. Jessica Elgot Theresa May appoints John Mann as adviser on antisemitism, The Guardian, 23 July 2019.
  11. Steven Walker Mann resigns for role as Tories’ ‘tsar’. In 2016 police interviewed him over anti-Gypsy ‘hate incident’, Skwawkbox, 8 September 2019.
  12. Anonymous Parliamentary Anti-Gypsyism meeting collapses after ‘offensive’ booklet emerges, Travellers' Times, 4 October 2016.
  13. The Jewish Chronicle JC Power 100: Sacks stays on top, as new names emerge. 9th May 2008. Accessed 16th August 2008
  14. The Jewish Chronicle How we made our selection 9th May 2008. Accessed 16th August 2008
  15. The Jewish Chronicle JC Power 100: Sacks stays on top, as new names emerge. 9th May 2008. Accessed 16th August 2008
  16. Damian Carrington, Fracking firm to drill on former explosives site, The Guardian, 4 April 2014
  17. Oil and gas: licensing rounds,, accessed 14 November 2016.
  18. Misson borehole drilling plan given the green light, Retford Times, 19 January 2016, accessed 13 September 2016
  19. Karolin Schaps, IGas receives approval for shale gas exploration permit, Reuters, 15 November 2016, accessed 18 November 2016.
  20. John Mann: "We should press pause on fracking", Lincolnshire Live, 22 November 2016, accessed 23 November 2016.
  21. isaacashe, New site approved for potential fracking in Nottinghamshire, Nottingham Post, 23 November 2016, accessed 30 November 2016.
  22. TheyWorkForYou | John Mann, TheyWorkForYou, accessed 23 November 2016.
  23. Bassetlaw: John Mann only Notts MP who voted to halt fracking, Worksop Guardian, 27 January 2015
  24. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Hansard1214
  25. Antisemitism Policy Trust Parliamentary Visit To Dublin, November 2014.
  26. Matthew Offord Antisemitism in Modern Society, 20 February 2019, Accessed from Hansard 28 May 2020.
  27. Ken Livingstone Ken Livingstone: Naz Shah 'not anti-Semitic' BBC Radio London, 28 April 2016.
  28. Richard Angell in conversation with John Mann Antisemitism: Taking a Stand, 2 September 2017.
  29. Richard Angell in conversation with John Mann Antisemitism: Taking a Stand, 2 September 2017.
  30. John Mann clashes with Ken Livingstone BBC News, 28 April 2016.
  31. Daily Politics In full: Ken Livingstone with Andrew Neil and John Mann, BBC, 28 April 2016.
  32. Lee Harpin Huge crowds join Jewish community protest against antisemitism, in Westminster, The Jewish Chronicle, 26 March 2018.
  33. PA Media Senior Labour MP quits party to become antisemitism tsar, The Guardian, 7 September 2019.
  34. John Mann Donation of £400 for Berlin trip, January 2008, Electoral Commission, Accessed 27 May 2020.
  35. John Mann Donation of £750 for Jerusalem trip, January 2008, Electoral Commission, Accessed 27 May 2020.
  36. John Mann Donation, May 2009, Electoral Commission, Accessed 27 May 2020.
  37. John Mann Donations, Register of Members' Financial Interests, 27 July 2009.
  38. John Mann Donations November 2009, Electoral Commission, Accessed 27 May 2020.
  39. John Mann Donations, Register of Members' Financial Interests, 10 December 2009.
  40. John Mann Donation of £3,986 for Latin American trip Electoral Commission, October 2014, Accessed 27 May 2020.
  41. John Mann Donation of £4,063.00 for San Francisco trip Electoral Commission, October 2014, Accessed 27 May 2020.
  42. John Mann Donation of £3,986 for Latin American trip Electoral Commission, January 2017, Accessed 27 May 2020.
  43. Antisemitism Policy Trust Visit to the Middle East, January 2017.
  44. John Mann Donation of £3,530 for US trip Electoral Commission, April 2018, Accessed 27 May 2020.
  45. All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism Register of All-Party Parliamentary Groups, Antisemitism Policy Trust donation, 10 October 2018, Accessed from Parliament website 27 May 2020,
  46. John Mann Donation of £1,918 for Washington and New York trip, Electoral Commission, September 2018, Accessed 27 May 2020.
  47. John Mann Donation of £3,528 for Washington DC trip, Electoral Commission, July 2019, Accessed 27 May 2020.
  48. John Mann Donations, Register of Members' Financial Interests, 16 June 2008.
  49. John Mann Donations, Register of Members' Financial Interests, 8 July 2013.
  50. 50.0 50.1 John Mann Donations, Register of Members' Financial Interests, 1 April 2019.
  51. All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism Register of All-Party Parliamentary Groups, Antisemitism Policy Trust donation, 10 October 2018, Accessed from Parliament website 27 May 2020,
  52. Bassetlaw CLP [1] Donations, Electoral Commission.
  53. 53.0 53.1 53.2 Register of interests of members' secretaries and research assistants, 23 March 2016,, accessed 21 April 2016