John Mann (British politician)

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John Mann
John Mann.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Bassetlaw
Assumed office
8 June 2001
Preceded by Joe Ashton
Majority 8,215 (16.6%)
Personal details
Born (1960-01-10) 10 January 1960 (age 55)
Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Joanna White[1]
Children 2 daughters and 1 son
Alma mater University of Manchester

John Mann (born 10 January 1960) is a Labour Party politician in the United Kingdom who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bassetlaw since 2001,[2] after the retirement of previous MP Joe Ashton.

John Mann serves on the Treasury Select Committee. Previously he has been Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Tessa Jowell and Richard Caborn.

Early life[edit]

Mann is the son of James (Jim) and Brenda Mann. He attended Waterloo Infants school, Pudsey, Yorkshire. He then attended Pudsey Waterloo Junior school from 1967 to 1971, followed by the independent Bradford Grammar School (via a scholarship). Mann has a degree in Economics from the University of Manchester and a Diploma in Training Management. Active in the Labour Party from his youth (Pudsey South Labour Party), his activities have taken him from residence in London (he was a councillor in the London Borough of Lambeth), to Lewes in East Sussex, Baldock in Hertfordshire and Worksop in Bassetlaw. He was chair of the National Organisation of Labour Students, 1983–4.

Before entering Parliament he previously worked for the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union as Head of Research and Education and as the National Training Officer at the TUC National Education Centre in North London (now closed). Mann has also been a party employee and a trade union liaison officer. He was an ally of disgraced former Labour MP Phil Woolas.[3] Mann is a member of Unite and GMB, YHA, the British Mountaineering Council, IPD and the Co-operative Party.

He married Joanna White in July 1986 in Leeds. They have two daughters and a son in their early 20s. He supports Leeds United.

Political life[edit]

Mann was first elected as MP for Bassetlaw in 2001, and subsequently retained his seat at the general elections in 2005, 2010 and 2015.

Mann served on the Treasury Select Committee twice, 2003–2005, and 2009–2015, during which time he raised issues around debt, financial misselling (with particular reference to Credit Cards) and claims handlers.[4] Some commentators have noted Mann's reputation for asking brusque questions, particularly of senior bank executives[5] and George Osborne.[6]

John Mann was the first Labour MP to call for Gordon Brown to resign after the 2010 General Election.[7] Some months earlier, when Brown was Prime Minister, Mann had written an open letter demanding a number of changes to the Labour party structures.[8]

Mann was also vocal in criticising other MPs over the expenses scandal, arguing that MPs could not be trusted to self-regulate.[9] He criticised the shredding of documents related to expenses before 2010, saying "it looks like MPs trying to protect MPs again".[10] He was also responsible for lodging the complaint that resulted in an inquiry into Maria Miller's expense claims[9]

In 2014 Mann was responsible for compiling a dossier of historic allegations of child abuse, detailing allegations of 12 former ministers that may have been involved. He said he believes some of them were "definitely child abusers"[11]

Combating antisemitism[edit]

John Mann chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism.[12] The Group commissioned the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism in 2005. The inquiry panel, chaired by former Europe Minister Denis MacShane, gathered written and oral evidence on antisemitism in Britain and published a report of their findings on 7 September 2006. The panel's recommendations included improved reporting and recording of antisemitic attacks; a crackdown on anti-Jewish activity on university campuses; and improved international co-operation to prevent the spread of racist material online. In May 2009 John Mann received the American Jewish Committee's Jan Karski Award in recognition of his commitment to fighting antisemitism in all of its forms.[13]

Drug policy[edit]

One of Mann's earliest campaigns in his constituency was his inquiry against heroin use in the area. In September 2002, Mann called for more treatment for heroin users in North Nottinghamshire.[14] The inquiry he instigated called for heroin addicts to be given the choice between treatment or prison. At the same time more local GPs were trained to help heroin addicts get their lives back under control.[15] Following the reforms the number of addicts in treatment in Bassetlaw rose from 2 to 400, and acquisitive crime fell by 75%.[16]

Mann has continued to advocate similar policies, for instance in his Fabian Society pamphlet 'The Real Deal: Drugs Policy that Works'.[17]

Local campaigns[edit]

Mann is an active campaigner in his constituency Bassetlaw and an advocate of using campaigning strategies he refers to as "organising to win" elsewhere.[18] He has organised numerous campaigns in his constituency, examples of which include campaigning to save Bassetlaw Hospital Accident and Emergency Department,[19] helping former coal miners fight double charging solicitors to get their compensation back,[20] and fighting Bassetlaw District Council's policy of 'topple testing' headstones in local cemeteries.[21] Mann keeps a weekly column in the Worksop Guardian and – along with other local figures – writes occasional pieces for the Retford Times.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "John Mann". UK Parliament Website. Retrieved 15 November 2012. 
  3. ^ Beattie, Jason, Woolas poll delayed for legal review: Politics, The Daily Mirror 9 November 2010
  4. ^ Gilmore 19 January 2005 (News)
  5. ^ Letts, Quentin (12 January 2011). "Eyes Burned into Bonus Bob with wild contempt". Daily Mail (London). 
  6. ^ "Bungling George Osborne reveals he has no idea how much cash Treasury makes from fuel tax rise". Daily Mirror (London: Trinity Mirror). 30 March 2011. ISSN 9975-9950. OCLC 223228477. Archived from the original on 11 April 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "'Labour loyalist John Mann urges Brown to step down'". BBC News. 8 May 2010. Retrieved 8 May 2010. 
  8. ^ "'Open letter to Gordon Brown'". Retrieved 25 August 2009. 
  9. ^ a b "Maria Miller's expenses threats 'pretty shocking', says ex-head of watchdog". Guardian. 5 April 2014. Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  10. ^ Holehouse, Matthew (2 November 2014). "MPs to escape expenses investigations after paperwork destroyed by Parliament". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  11. ^ ELEFTHERIOU-SMITH, Loulla May (21 December 2014). "Child abuse inquiry: Three MPs and three peers named in paedophile dossier handed to Scotland Yard". Independent. Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  12. ^ "PCAA Foundation". Retrieved November 2012. 
  13. ^ John Mann (7 May 2009). "British MP, John Mann, accepts Jan Karski Award". American Jewish Committee. Retrieved 5 February 2010.  (speech transcript)
  14. ^ BBC 23 September 2003 (News).
  15. ^ Mann, J (2002) Heroin in Bassetlaw
  16. ^ Townsend, Mark (23 July 2006). "Anti-heroin project transforms towns". The Guardian (London). 
  17. ^ Mann, John (23 July 2006). Tom Hampson, ed. The Real Deal: Drugs Policy That Works (Fabian Policy Report). Fabian Society. ISBN 978-0-7163-3060-8. Retrieved 11 April 2014. 
  18. ^ Mann, J and Hamilton, S (2010) Organising to Win. Progress
  19. ^ cf.Worksop Guardian and
  20. ^ "Don't swindle our miners says MP". 16 January 2004. Archived from the original on 11 April 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2014. 
  21. ^ "MP John Mann wins grave topple test campaign". 20 January 2009. Archived from the original on 11 April 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2014. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Joe Ashton
Member of Parliament for Bassetlaw