Labour MPs Clive Lewis, Rachael Maskell, Lloyd Russell-Moyle and Alex Sobel are relaunching the ‘Love Socialism’ group as a “green, internationalist and democratic” force that seeks to advance “pluralism” on the left.
Formerly known as ‘Love Socialism Hate Brexit’, and later ‘Love Socialism Rebuild Britain Transform Europe’, the organisation previously had a strong focus on advocating within Labour for the UK to remain in the European Union.
The group is now being reformed as a collective working on broader issues in 21st-century politics, such as climate breakdown, artificial intelligence, surveillance capitalism and labour fragmentation, as well as wider democratic goals.
Love Socialism is regarded as being on the ‘soft left’ of the party – but a source told LabourList it intends to “work with others to reach into the membership, unions and movements” without itself becoming a membership organisation or faction.
Writing in The Independent, the four Labour MPs stated: “We embrace respectful debate and pluralism. Ours is a political culture that seeks to work with other progressive movements, both inside and outside of the Labour Party.”
The ambition of the group is both to be a “catalyst for positive change” in the way that the Labour Party organises and interacts with others and to be a “bridge” that will “challenge injustice and advance progressive change”.
Similarly to the ‘soft left’ group Open Labour, the MPs have argued that ““how” we disagree is arguably as important as “what” we disagree on”. They have said Love Socialism will be a “rejection of the top-down, bureaucratic, authoritarian tendencies in our movement”.
The initiative is “not about creating a new Labour faction, nor is our analysis of political culture done to deepen division or suggest intellectual superiority”, according to the article penned by backbenchers Lewis and Russell-Moyle and frontbenchers Sobel and Maskell.
The four Labour MPs have described the three top priorities of the group as being a “transformative political agenda”, to “confront structural racism and inequalities” and to “embrace radical constitutional and electoral reform”.
The comment piece concludes: “Our vision may be radical, but also pragmatic, entirely necessary for us to achieve a Labour government. We call on those of the broad left of the labour movement to be part of this journey with us.”
Lewis is MP for Norwich South, and served as a shadow minister under Jeremy Corbyn. He was a candidate for the 2020 Labour leadership but withdrew after failing to secure enough nominations from parliamentary colleagues.
Russell-Moyle is MP for Brighton Kemptown and also now an opposition backbencher. He resigned from a shadow ministerial post in July, citing a “campaign by the right-wing media” that made his position “untenable”.
Maskell is MP for York Central. She is currently shadow minister for the voluntary sector and charities, having served as Shadow Employment Rights Secretary, shadow rail minister and Shadow Defra Secretary in the past.
Sobel is also an opposition frontbencher under Keir Starmer’s leadership, part of the Labour digital, culture, media and sport team, where he is responsible for tourism and heritage. He is a founding member of Open Labour.