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  1. ITV Report

Bassetlaw MP John Mann and Leeds Imam Qari Asim appointed as government racism advisors by outgoing PM Theresa May

Labour MP John Mann speaks during a protest against anti-Semitism in the Labour party in 2018. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive/PA Images

The outgoing Prime Minister, Theresa May, has appointed Labour MP John Mann as an independent adviser on anti-Semitism, in her final full day in office.

The Bassetlaw MP, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, will give advice on the most effective methods to tackle anti-Semitism.

The most recent national hate crime statistics published by the Home Office last October showed that Jewish people were the most likely group to experience religiously motivated hate crime.

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Theresa May said she had been "proud to lead a government that is tackling such discrimination" but admitted "there is yet more to do".

“John Mann is, without exception, a key voice on this matter. He has frequently campaigned in the House of Commons on this issue and has tirelessly used his role as a politician to speak out on behalf of victims of anti-Jewish racism. “I am confident he will bring the level of cross-party independent advice needed to advise Government and to ensure we see progress on this very important issue.”

– Prime Minister Theresa May

Mr Mann said that silence on the issue of antisemitism, "unwittingly allow[s] cowardice and bigotry to speak its own repulsive language".

“I will continue to call out those throwing stones of hatred at Jewish people, and will endeavour to give a clarion call to Government on prejudice and discrimination on this issue.”

– John Mann MP
1,652
reported antisemitic incidents in 2018. SOURCE: Community Security Trust

Today's appointment comes after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn outlines plans to speed up his party's disciplinary measures, following criticism of the way it handled recent cases.

Meanwhile the Conservative Party is facing Islamophobia complaints, with ITV News recently revealing members under investigation were still eligible to vote in the recent leadership contest.

Imam Qari Asim talks to police at the Makkah Mosque in Leeds. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/PA Images

Separately, Mrs May has also appointed a senior Imam at Makkah Mosque, in Leeds, to provide advice on the "definition of Islamophobia" to the government.

Imam Qari Asim MBE, Deputy Chair of the Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group, will lead a process for establishing a definition of Islamophobia. He will be joined by a second adviser to be confirmed in due course.

However, the government has already confirmed the definition "will not be legally binding". A legal expert will ensure that the definition does not conflict with current equalities legislation.

Imam Qari Asim leads the prayers at Makkah Masjid mosque in Leeds Credit: Dave Higgins/PA Archive/PA Images

To tackle the alarming rise in anti-Muslim sentiment, it is imperative that Islamophobia is defined. “I am deeply committed to working across Muslim communities and with relevant stakeholders to formulate a legally robust, comprehensive and workable definition of Islamophobia. “I am honoured to be entrusted with this role, which will have a far reaching impact in protecting British Muslims and tackling anti-Muslim hatred.”

– Imam Qari Asim