Labour First launches fundraising appeal for organiser to “counteract” Corbynistas


Labour First, the centre-left group, has revealed plans to raise funds to recruit a paid organiser to resists the Corbynistas when a series of key grassroots votes kick off in January.

The self-styled moderates aim to “counteract” Momentum in constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) around Britain and to prevent a controversial rule change which would make it easier for MPs to get on the ballot for a leadership election with only a handful of supporters.

Activists from Labour First, which has also been dubbed the “old right” of the party, sent a message to supporters to seek contributions to pay for the role. Momentum has also raised fund to hire paid organisers and a press team.

“The Hard Left has the resources – Momentum has plentiful funding, staff and data – and they are upping their game. We need to do the same,” secretary Luke Akehurst wrote yesterday.

“Without a dedicated member of staff to organise for us to win delegate elections to annual conference, and to set up local groups to counteract Momentum around the country, we simply won’t be able to stop them. We can’t continue relying exclusively on volunteers.”

Labour’s centre-left activists were largely successful over left-wing delegates in procedural votes at the last two party conferences, such as preventing a “divisive” debate on Trident in 2015, but have reaffirmed their desire to fight the mooted “McDonnell amendment”, which would allow any candidate to run for the leadership with the support of just five per cent – 13 signatures – of MPs and MEPs,

John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, has ruled himself out of standing as party leader but has twice sought and failed to win a place on the ballot paper in previous contests.

CLPs begin electing conference delegates in January. Over the last year local members have often faced a choice between two “slates” based on support for and opposition to Jeremy Corbyn.

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