Momentum To Hold Mass Canvassing Events In Splinter Group Constituencies


Momentum are to hold mass canvassing events in the constituencies of splinter group MPs to build support for Labour in the event of a by-election and inform constituents that their MP has left Labour and joined a coalition with former Tory MPs instead.

Events will be held in Streatham, Stockport and Penistone and Stocksbridge, the constituencies of Chuka Umunna, Anne Coffey and Angela Smith, with the first event taking place in the next few weeks.

The events will be attended by celebrities and politicians and involve an afternoon of canvassing followed by a social. Momentum have also launched a petition aimed at Labour members calling for by-elections in the seats of all splinter group MPs.

The campaign follows dismay from many constituents and the chairs of local Labour parties who wrote to the splinter group MPs asking them to trigger a by-election. [2] This dissatisfaction mirrors a Yougov poll conducted after the 2017 General Election which showed just 6% of Labour voters backed the party because of their local candidate, with 28% of people saying they backed the party because of its manifesto and 15% because they were anti-Tory. [3]

In the hours after the splinter group formed, Momentum raised more than £15,000 in small donations from members and Momentum videos were viewed more than 600,000 times on social media. The group plans to crowdfund tens of thousands of pounds more to fund its canvassing events in splinter group constituencies across the country.

The launch of the splinter group was marred by accusations of racism as Angela Smith, former Labour MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, appeared to refer to BAME people as having "funny tinged" skin.

Laura Parker, Momentum's National Coordinator, said:

"Their constituents voted for a Labour MP standing on a Labour manifesto. Now they've left the party and joined a Blairite-Tory coalition standing on a completely different platform.

This is not what their constituents voted for. The only fair and decent thing to do is give their constituents a choice and call a by-election.

Polls show the vast majority of Labour voters back the party and the policies, not individual candidates. These splinter group MPs ran in 2017 on a manifesto of public ownership, scrapping tuition fees and ending austerity.

Now they're working hand in hand with the Tories they'll revert back to an agenda of privatisation, deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthy.

This is unfair, undemocratic and dishonest. If they care about their constituents rather than their own careers they should step down and fight a by-election."

NOTES:

  1. Momentum are also planning a series of Unseat events in marginal constituencies to coincide with the council elections in May.

  2. CLP chairs have written to splinter group MPs asking them to stand down https://labourlist.org/2019/02/local-labour-parties-tell- independent-group-mps-to-stand-down/

3. Polls have shown just 6% of Labour voters backed the party in 2017 because of the candidate. Yougov found that 28 per cent of people said they backed the party because of its manifesto, 15 per cent because they were anti-Tory, and 13 per cent because of Mr Corbyn, the pollster says.https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-voters-reasons-jeremy-corbyn-manifesto-local-mp-mandatory-reselection-a7840856.html

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