Labour MP John Mann announced he will resign from Parliament in protest at Jeremy Corbyn’s failure to tackle rampant antisemitism within the party.
Mann – MP for Bassetlaw since 2001 – has opted take up a new full-time role as the government’s antisemitism tsar.
Speaking to the JC about the decision, made before a likely General Election, he confirmed: “I’m not prepared to stand as an MP with Corbyn as leader.”
He said he had written to Corbyn explaining his decision to stand down and in a hard-hitting letter repeated his call for the Labour leader to resign.
“I have told him to resign for the good of the country and for the good of the Labour Party,” he said.
The 59-year-old politician, whose constituency had a 5,000 Labour majority in 2017, said there was a problem with antisemitism in other political parties but that Corbyn’s failure to tackle it within Labour had left “huge consequences”.
He said: “When Corbyn goes the problem doesn’t go with Corbyn.
“But his failure to lead is the big problem – as is the problem of antisemitism on the left.
“Corbyn is an enabler. His unwillingness to undo the damage he has done has had huge consequences. “He’s not just an enabler – he’s the enabler in this country”.
He revealed he had witnessed open antisemitism as he joined Community Security Trust chief executive David Delew and his wife at an outside table at Reubens kosher restaurant in London.
“It was after the CST’s advisory board meeting. I joined Mr and Mrs Delew for a conversation when we were subjected to casual but explicitly antisemitic abuse from four people passing by.
“It was ‘Jew this…Jew that” to two members of the community and myself who were just sitting outside having some food and attempting to chat.
“That’s the scale of the problem – it’s becoming normalised.”
Mann said the growth in antisemitic activity has “without question been running in tandem with Corbyn’s lack of leadership.”
His first engagement as government antisemitism tsar is at an Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) conference in Warsaw, Poland where he will share a platform with the German envoy on antisemitism, Felix Klein, and Donald Trump’s adviser on the same issue, Elan Carr.