Labour: Callum Bell and Graham Jones clash over Momentum
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Momentum, a Corbynite grassroots group, is on the brink of collapse following a disastrous funding loss. The group is reportedly facing serious financial challenges after the Labour party saw an exodus of leftwing members. It has since launched a fundraiser, entitled “Keep Up Momentum”, appealing to members: “We can’t let everything we’ve built disappear.”
While the group primarily relies on individual donations, it also requires supporters to be members of the Labour Party.
This has caused a knock-on effect on its funding, as thousands of left-wing members of the party have abandoned it since Keir Starmer became leader.
According to the Guardian, Momentum’s membership is down by a third from its peak when Jeremy Corbyn was the leader of the party.
An insider said the group’s financial situation is “serious, but not critical”.
But another source said the group wouldn’t “be able to continue to operate at the level we have been” unless more donations were found.
A number of leftwing Labour MPs from the Socialist Campaign Group, such as John McDonnell and Ian Lavery, have backed the campaign, as well as members of the 2019 intake such as Nadia Whittome, Zarah Sultana, Bell Ribeiro-Addy and Apsana Begum.
Hilary Schan, co-chair of Momentum, said it was a difficult time for the left of the party, claiming leftwing members had seen “reams of unjustified suspensions over the last couple of years and more recently the stitch-ups with the selections taking away local members’ voices”.
But a senior Labour source dismissed the possible collapse of Momentum, accusing the group of having an “obsession with damaging the Labour party”.
Speaking to the Guardian, they added: “Let’s be frank: they are utterly irrelevant.”
Keir Starmer has been accused of conducting a “purge” of the left wing of the party after blocking certain candidates from standing for the party at the next election.
A member of the Socialist Campaign Group told the Telegraph: “It’s an awful, awful atmosphere.
“Keir Starmer says the party is united. I’ve never known the party more disunited.
“People are frightened to say things. People are really reluctant because they think they might just be next. It’s a terrible situation.
“They’re just waiting for everyone in the Socialist Campaign Group just to make one wrong move and they’ll find a reason to deselect them. It’s a case of a huge purge.”
Meanwhile, Emma Dent Coad, a former Labour MP for Kensington, said a fair contest had been “sacrificed for the sake of factional intrigue from Labour officials”.
But the opposition leader defended the move, with his spokesperson saying: “We’ve changed the party to make sure we’re in tune with the instincts and aspirations of the British people once again”.
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