He might have been a serious politician, were he not such an amateurish and thuggish clown. John Mann, still nominally Labour MP for Bassetlaw, but ennobled by someone in the Tory Party with a rare sense of humour and heading to The Other Place come the impending General Election, loves to stoke controversy. But he is also stupid enough not to notice when he opens his mouth and inserts both feet.
Doctor, I can't keep my mouth shut
Mann must have thought yesterday that he was going to give Jeremy Corbyn one final headache as his farewell to Labour, but once again he had failed to think it through. “Before I quit as an MP I will sending letters about sexual harassment and assault allegations that have been deliberately sat upon by people on power” he declared.
Sending letters to whom? If it’s his fellow politicians, he should be sending them to the appropriate party chair or general secretary, and copying the Metropolitan Police into the correspondence. Has he done that? Well, we cannot be certain, but one thing we do know is that Mann has now, by his own admission, just admitted breaking the law.
How so? Consider this: he has been peddling sexual misconduct claims for some time now. Last month he said this in a TalkRADIO interview: “This stuff hasn’t come out and the details shouldn’t come out but I can tell you for a fact - on a number of occasions he [Jeremy Corbyn] has failed to act on issues of sexual harassment and worse”.
There was more. “Indeed, when he has, he’s acted on the side of those who have been accused rather than those who are making the allegations … To me, that’s beyond acceptability in any way and I’ve been personally involved in some of those cases. He should be ashamed”. But he had already made an accusation against Jezza last June.
On that occasion, Corbyn had been warning about a possible escalation of tensions in the Gulf following two attacks on tankers, which some of a hawkish disposition were blaming on Iran. Mann’s contribution was to blunder in with “You have been ignoring credible evidence given to you directly about sexual harassment in the Labour Party”.
So he’s been sitting on his evidence for four and a half months. Oh hang on, make that 19 months: Mann was described in a Guardian article from March last year as “another Labour MP who has been outspoken about the party’s processes to deal with sexual harassment complaints”. And there was worse to come.
A Guardian article from TWO YEARS AGO, told “Labour MP John Mann, who has raised concerns in parliament about channels for staff to report information about MPs, said he believed it was not appropriate for victims to have to report harassment to the party whips or central office … He has asked John Bercow, the speaker, for clarification over what happens when an MP is ‘elected by parliament to represent us on a foreign delegation and is subsequently sent home from that delegation for inappropriate behaviour’”.
So he may have been sitting on evidence for two years. Or he could have been, to put it another way, withholding evidence. By his own admission, he’s been withholding it since June this year. And that’s against the law. So he won’t mind getting his collar felt.
If John Mann engaged brain before mouth, he’d be dangerous. He didn’t, so he isn’t.
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