JOHN MANN insisted to the Star today that he is justified in saying that it was a “Labour Marxist anti-semite” who had posted his councillor wife — who is not Jewish — a dead bird six years ago.
The Labour Bassetlaw MP and chair of the all-party parliamentary group on anti-semitism has been accused of conflating the incident with anti-semitism as a way of smearing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters.
On April 17 in the Commons, Mr Mann spoke about the targeting of Jewish members of the PLP, “partly because they are Jewish.”
Referring to his role as chairman of the all-party group, he said: “When I took on this voluntary cross-party role, I did not expect my wife to be sent, by a Labour Marxist anti-semite, a dead bird through the post. I did not expect my son, after an Islamist death threat, to open the door when he was in the house on his own, as a schoolboy, to the bomb squad … ”
Mr Mann later wrote on Twitter: “These anti-semites from Momentum can’t help themselves in their desperate attempts to rubbish Tuesday’s debate. Time now to sue each and every one of them for libel. You cannot say you were not warned.”
The dead-bird incident happened in 2012 — three years before Momentum was formed — and the culprit, Roger Dyas-Elliott, pleaded guilty at Worksop magistrates’ court.
Mr Dyas-Elliott was given a restraining order. There was no mention of anti-semitism at the hearing, according to news reports of the case.
Mr Mann told the Star he had taken action against Mirror journalist Kevin Maguire and threatened “further such action.”
In court, Mr Dyas-Elliott said he sent the decomposing blackbird he found in his garden to Mr Mann’s wife councillor Joanna White because he was “bitter” after his application to run as a Labour councillor was turned down. It was rejected by the group’s Bassetlaw district applications panel, which included Ms White, because of his “unkempt appearance.”
Mr Mann told the Star: “Yes, Dyas-Elliot was a Marxist anti-semite.”
He added: “I challenged him directly on his anti-semitism. Evidence of his anti-semitism is publicly available, I intervened to block his conference pass for anti-semitism, I banned him from my office for anti-semitism and I asked for his expulsion for anti-semitism.”
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