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Manchester faces calls to discipline ‘anti-Islam’ councillor

MANCHESTER City Council is facing calls to discipline a councillor being investigated after allegations of racism and Islamophobia were levelled against him.

Labour Councillor Mark Hackett has been accused of “abusing and intimidating” a Muslim man helping to organise a Manchester Stop the War Coalition event to remember the children of Gaza.

The man, who says he does not want to be named for fear of reprisals, emailed councillors seeking their support for the event on August 17 2014.

Mr Hackett allegedly replied, copying in all other Labour councillors, to accuse organisers of supporting Hamas and Islamic State (Isis) and claiming that if he attended it would invite attacks against his person and his family.

The peace campaigner was also allegedly accused of playing a “possible role in the abduction of a Salford man in Syria” and a “possible role as Islamic State sleeper in Salford.”

The man submitted a formal complaint to the council asking for an official probe into Mr Hackett’s conduct.

A Manchester City Council spokesman said the complaint was being investigated and it would be “inappropriate to comment until this process has concluded.”

Mr Hackett is a prominent figure in local Manchester politics having served as a Labour councillor for over 25 years. In 2013 he was elected to serve as the city’s lord mayor.

The complainant is being supported by the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) which said he had told them he has been left “psychologically scarred” by his experience.

The man is seeking a public apology and for Mr Hackett to publicly retract the allegations he says were made against him as well as for him to face disciplinary proceedings.

IHRC chair Massoud Shadjareh said: “It is imperative for the council now to step up to the plate and take disciplinary proceedings against Councillor Hackett.”


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