Momentum officers call for “unity, reflection and comradely debate”

Sienna Rodgers

Momentum officers group has released a statement saying the organisation “cannot continue as it has been” and calling for “unity, reflection and comradely debate on the way forward”.

In light of its recent defeat in the Labour leadership contest and ruling body by-elections, officers in the national coordinating group of Momentum have openly accepted some of the criticisms levelled at the organisation.

The NCG officer group’s statement suggests that Momentum supporters have thought of the activist network as “too London-centric and metropolitan” and “not engaged enough in the broader labour movement”.

The group chaired by co-founder Jon Lansman, who still sits on Labour’s national executive committee, has promised to assess its strengths and weaknesses as well as reach out to members.

The statement was originally tweeted as being from Momentum’s NCG as a whole, but later deleted and replaced with a statement specifically attributed to the seven-member NCG officers group.

Below is the full text of the statement by Momentum’s NCG officers group.

Momentum NCG officers call for unity and comradely debate as it begins to review its strategy

In the wake of Keir Starmer’s first round victory in the Labour leadership contest, it is clear that Momentum and the left cannot continue as it has been. Unlike previous years, Momentum endorsed candidates won neither the OMOV vote for leader nor for the NEC, where the left vote was disastrously split and cost us our majority.

At the present moment, our movement is in great peril of making the same mistakes we did after our defeat in the 1980s. We risk retreating from the challenge of making our ideas mainstream, fighting between ourselves and allowing our party to be taken over once more by centrists.

The Momentum NCG officers recognises this risk and through this statement calls for unity, reflection and comradely debate on the way forward.

As a movement and an organisation, we have had some incredible successes. Our record in MP selections has crucially led to doubling the size of the socialist caucus in the PLP, our mobilisations for national conferences has been overwhelmingly successful and up until recently we have had an untrammelled record of success in internal OMOV elections.

But none of this is sustainable if our supporters in the party feel they are not a part of our movement, if we appear too London-centric and metropolitan, if we are not engaged enough in the broader labour movement and reaching out to our communities. Momentum should be the epicentre of the Socialist Labour Left. We should strive to unite that left under our banner.

Through our democratic processes and engagement with our members, we will assess the strengths and weaknesses of the past few years and reach out to many left Labour members who feel they have been pushed away. It is our intention to ensure we give members the opportunity to bring forward ideas about engagement and how we move forward with a common socialist agenda that reaches out to our communities.

Our pledge is to listen to and empower members and supporters, and ensure that Socialism is here to stay in the Labour Party after Corbyn.

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