Exclusive: ‘Momentum Renewal’ launch backed by Labour MPs and high-profile activists

A new campaign called ‘Momentum Renewal’ has launched today with the backing of several Labour MPs, members of Labour’s ruling body and high-profile activists, LabourList can reveal.

Labour MPs including Ian Lavery, Jon Trickett, Kim Johnson, Paula Barker, Sam Tarry, Charlotte Nichols and Nav Mishra have all signed up to the initiative created ahead of internal Momentum elections.

The list of 83 signatories also includes members of Labour’s national executive committee (NEC), Lara McNeill, Huda Elmi and Yasmine Dar, plus Tribune‘s Ronan Burtenshaw and Novara Media‘s Aaron Bastani.

The founding statement, published exclusively on LabourList, stresses the importance of “left unity” and the need for a “single socialist slate” in the next round of Labour’s NEC elections.

On its vision for Momentum, the group says it aims to “reforge it into an organisation that can unite, defend and advance our cause within our party and our country” and “make it truly fit for purpose”.

Momentum Renewal has pledged to focus on community organising and ensure that it is “rooted in working-class communities” as well as being “member-led and -organised”.

Momentum founder Jon Lansman used a LabourList comment piece on Saturday to announce that he would not be standing in the upcoming internal elections of the Corbynite organisation.

Another group launched last month ahead of contests for Momentum’s national coordinating group (NCG). ‘Forward Momentum’ held open primaries to form a slate, due to be unveiled shortly.

The slate of candidates being put forward by Momentum Renewal is expected to be revealed in the coming days. The Momentum NCG contests, which will see a new chair elected, are set to conclude on June 30th.

Below is the full text of the statement from Momentum Renewal.

Momentum must be transformed for the many

Momentum played a vital role in fighting for a radical, socialist Labour Party and in the last four years especially focused on supporting the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. In the wake of a brutal election defeat and the election of a new leader, there will be an attempt to water down our politics. There will be an attempt to roll back on policies that defend the working class just at the moment this government prepares to unleash a new, harsher wave of austerity on our people following the current crisis. And there will be calls to adopt a politics which divides the working class and takes the support of BAME and migrant communities for granted.

Momentum’s key tasks therefore need to change, and with it the way we organise ourselves. Our movement needs to be bottom up and not simply top down.

Now, more than ever, we need left unity. If the Labour left splits and socialists leave, if those who have spent the last five years undermining our party inside and out seize it, then we will be in the wilderness for a generation. We do not have the time to start all over again.

Momentum is the largest organisation on the Labour left. We need to reforge it into an organisation that can unite, defend and advance our cause within our party and our country. This means new leadership and a new politics that is as clear and bold in its demands as our opponents have been.

This is why, as socialists in the Labour Party, we’re launching Momentum Renewal, our platform for transforming Momentum to make it truly fit for purpose. Democratic, member-led and -organised, Momentum Renewal will be rooted in working-class communities, which founded our party and which must be its heartland.

Momentum needs to win back the trust of many elements of our movement who have felt side-lined and marginalised over the past few years, and unite socialists within the Labour Party who have made it clear they want a broad, socialist platform. This requires looking outward, not retreating to a bunker. It requires admitting where we went wrong, as well as defending the positive changes we made.

It requires breaking with a stifling, suffocating London bubble and ensuring that what you know is always more important than who you know. Most importantly, it requires a truly radical politics rooted in the concerns of the working class of this country, because that’s where socialists have to be to win. If we fail in this task – or worse still don’t even try – then we will never get a majority Labour government.

To this end, we fundamentally believe that the trade union movement is central, an anchor which keeps the Labour Party moored to serious working-class politics. Workers, many of whom are politically and socially aware, but who found their voice through local issue-based campaigns, in anti-racist groups, the environmental movement or anti-war activism must be brought together with the organised labour movement. Momentum is in a unique position to craft that coalition.

This means strengthening political education and training, plus building organisational capacity years ahead of an election. Young activists in particular have given so much over the last five years to Momentum, Labour and the wider movement. It is younger people who disproportionately will bear the brunt of climate breakdown, job insecurity and the continued unravelling of social democracy. They must be front and centre within our movement.

And this means building local institutions, not just running national campaigns. A real, genuine community organising campaign that begins with listening to what people want rather than telling them, and that meets differences of opinion with openness and compassion, not condemnation.

We desperately need a single socialist slate for the next set of NEC elections, and a meticulous plan to prevent the recapture of the institutions of the party by factional forces that seek more internal conflict, or to blunt the boldness of our movement. We need the voice of the membership to be strong and united behind the socialist vision we share.

Momentum has the opportunity to renew itself, and in so doing play a key role in the rebuilding of our party and our movement as we resist this callous Tory government. As the debate heats up in advance of the elections to Momentum’s national coordinating group, we want to work with anyone who shares our vision for change to ensure that candidates are elected who will drive through reform. We believe that can be done, and will give it our support to meet the challenges of this new era. As a wise person once said, things can, and they will, change.

Read our proposals for putting Momentum back in the hands of its members, and join us by signing our statement.

facebook.com/MomentumRenewal | @Mom_Renewal

Signatories

Ian Lavery, MP for Wansbeck
Kim Johnson, MP for Liverpool Riverside
Paula Barker, MP for Liverpool Wavertree
Jon Trickett, MP for Hemsworth
Sam Tarry, MP for Ilford South
Charlotte Nichols, MP for Warrington North
Olivia Blake, MP for Sheffield Hallam
Grahame Morris, MP for Easington
Bell Ribeiro-Addy, MP for Streatham
Mick Whitley, MP for Birkenhead
Nav Mishra, MP for Stockport
Lara McNeill, NEC Youth Rep
Huda Elmi, Labour NEC
Cllr Matt Kerr, Glasgow City Council
Cllr Matt Brown, Leader, Preston Council
Yasmine Dar, Labour NEC, Manchester Councillor
Paul Dennett, Mayor of Salford
Bob Jeffrey, Secretary, Sheffield Trades Council
Max Shanly, Epsom CLP
Dan Dobson, Crawley CLP, Unite (Personal Capacity)
Jack Youd, Asst Secretary, Salford Trades Council, CLP Secretary Worsley and Eccles South
Grace Blakeley, Economist, Writer, NPF rep
Cllr Lauren Townsend, Milton Keynes Councillor
Anna Phillips, Chair of Exeter Momentum
Aaron Bastani, Novara Media
Marcus Barnett, Tribune
Michael Calderbank, Parliamentary Researcher for Trade Unions
Rachel O’Brien, Chair, London Young Labour
Rhys Harmer, RMT Young Members’ Chair
Ronan Burtenshaw, Editor of Tribune
David Aldwinkle, Chair, Leeds Momentum
Jabran Hussain, Labour National Constituional Committee
Cllr Danny Myers, Leader, York Labour
Tommy Kane, Former senior political advisor for Scotland to Jeremy Corbyn
Cllr Joe Cullinane, Leader, North Ayrshire Council
John Taylor, Redcar CLP
Charlie Mower, South East rep, Young Labour National Committee
Cllr Michelle Dorrell, Mayor of Folkestone (Personal Capacity)
George Ford, Campaigns Officer of Exeter Momentum
Axel Landin, Secretary, Stretham CLP
Jake Rubin, CLPD Youth, Brent Momentum
Chris Peace, Former PPC, NE Derbyshire
Cllr Aneesa Akbar, Hull City Council
Joe Riches, Yorkshire & Humber Regional Board
Gabi Obeng Nyarko, Women’s Officer Leeds Momentum
Deanne Ferguson, Former PPC, Morley & Outwood
Luke Mitchell, Treasurer, Leeds Momentum
Nadia Jama, BAME officer, Sheffield Central CLP
Sonya Ward, Former PPC, Mansfield
Lotte Boumelha, Chair of North West Young Labour, Manchester Momentum
Cllr Janet Mobbs, Stockport Council
Dave Brennan, Wirral West CLP, North West Regional Board
Sarah Cundy, South East Regional Board, Youth Rep
Dan Parks, CLPD Youth, Dover and Deal CLP
Connor McCann, CWU SE Young Workers Chair and National Young Workers Committee (Personal Capacity)
Ben Hayes, Islington North CLP Youth Officer
Bill Paterson, RMT Organiser
Caoimhe Hale, London Young Labour LGBT Officer
Daniel Stone, Haringey Councillor
Freddie Seale, Westminster North CLP
Faiza Mahmood, London Young Labour BAME Officer
Rae Lewis, RMT Young Members’ Vice-Chair
Robert Maisey, RMT Rep
Artin Giles, Former Chair, London Young Labour
Torr Robinson, London Young Labour Trans Officer
Will Sheret, London rep, Young Labour National Committee
Annie Maloney, Ordinary rep, Young Labour national committee
Cllr Jess Lennox, Leeds City Council, Yorkshire + Humber Regional Board
Jawad Khan, Batley and Spen CLP, BAME Officer
Cllr Lewis Dagnall, Sheffield City Council
Frederick Galluci, GMB X20 Political Officer, Leeds North West CLP
Warren Smith, GMB shop steward
Jess Barnard, Eastern rep, Young Labour National Committee
Cllr Lizzy Kelly, Stevenage Borough Council
Owen Dowling, Cambridge CLP
Kate Dove, Northern rep, Young Labour National Committee
Declan Mullholland, Youth Officer – North West Durham CLP
Connor Slomski, Newcastle-upon-Tyne Central CLP
Graham Copsey, Chair of Liverpool Local Campaign Forum
Cllr Wilson Nkurunziza, Salford City Council
Connor Naismith, Chair, Crewe & Nantwich CLP
Sophia Taromsari, Worsley & Eccles South CLP
Lawrence Dunne, Secretary of Knowsley for Socialism

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