Momentum tells Owen Smith: come to meet our “tireless” members

Momentum

Momentum has asked Owen Smith to come to meet its members after the leadership challenger launched a stinging attack on the faction and suggested it could be banned from Labour.

The Corbynista group said Smith’s comments, made in a speech yesterday, were “completely inaccurate” and offered to clear up any “misconceptions”.

The dispute came to a head when Smith, who appears to be trailing Corbyn in the contest, gave a defiant address in which he said there were “only five days” left to save Labour.

He brought to a head many of the concerns held over Momentum, which is not affiliated to the Labour Party. Centrist MPs say they have been subject to abuse and threats of de-selection from Momentum members but the group insists it behaves it campaigns ethically and is trying to deliver a Labour general election victory.

Today Momentum issued a statement in which it said members follow a code of ethics and that it exists “to help Labour be a more democratic, participatory and activist party, so that it can win elections to transform society in the interests of the many”.

“Momentum’s thousands of members campaign tirelessly for Labour victories, and to find new ways of reaching out to people to connect them to the Labour Party. Owen Smith’s comments are completely inaccurate,” a spokesperson added.

“We’d like to invite Owen to meet our members to clear up any concerns he may have or misconceptions he has heard, and discuss how we might work together in future.”

Yesterday Smith appeared to suggest Momentum could be banned by Labour. When asked if the party’s ruling national executive committee should consider banning membership of the group, he said: “If Momentum continue to carry on as a party within a party, then that’s something that everybody needs to look carefully at”, The Mirror reported.

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