The leadership of Momentum, elected in 2020 on the ‘Forward Momentum’ platform, promised change. And they now reckon they’ve made a pretty good crack at it. The outcome of ‘Refounding Momentum’, a process launched to democratise the activist network, concluded yesterday. After months of consultation, with local groups drafting proposals and those then being amended by the two new Momentum assemblies, members participated in a ballot held between May 17th and 26th. Changes agreed included organising a new annual convention, switching to a single-transferable-vote system for electing the national coordinating group (the governing body) and overhauling how the organisation chooses who to back in Labour leader and deputy leader elections.
The last is perhaps the most interesting. Momentum received criticism after its ruling body decided it would only ballot members on its recommendation for who the group should back for leader and deputy – rather than offering a full choice of candidates – in 2020. This meant members had a yes/no vote on whether to back Rebecca Long-Bailey for leader and Angela Rayner for deputy. Writing for LabourList this morning, NCG member Deborah Hermanns argued that the decision to leave “strong socialist candidates such as Richard Burgon” off the ballot was “not only politically short-sighted” but “seriously undermined the trust of many members in the organisation”. Put more pithily by one source, the resolution passed by members yesterday should mean “no more 2020 shitshows”. You can find the full write-up on the results of the Refounding Momentum ballot here.
Also on LabourList for our readers today: Christian Wakeford MP, who defected from the Conservatives in January, has joined Labour’s frontbench as parliamentary private secretary to Bridget Phillipson in the education team; ex-Labour MP Claudia Webbe has lost her appeal against her conviction for harassment – but will not face a recall petition as the custodial sentence was quashed and replaced with a 12-month community order; trade union PCS is continuing its fight against the government over its Rwanda deal; and Rachel Reeves has declared that Labour is “winning the battle of ideas” following the government U-turn on a windfall tax. We also have an excellent comment piece from GMB organiser Lola McEvoy, highlighting how the cleaners mopping up after Boris Johnson’s parties are not event guaranteed a living wage – since not a single government department in Whitehall is currently accredited to the Living Wage Foundation. Sign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.