The Spectator magazine is a well-known right-wing publication. In December it warned the government in emphatic terms about the “danger of fake news”:
The following month, it published fake news in order to attack Labour.
Recycled, year-old fake news.
A Spectator article on 27 January (2018!) bore the headline:
The article is an attempt to exploit an argument between trans rights supporters and some women who disagree with them to attack the Labour Party, which descends rapidly into a caricature of itself with the usual references to Stalin, to ‘bullying’ and, of course, to ‘hounding – along with phrases like,
Dig a little deeper and a pit of hell opens up before you
Being attacked by the right is, of course, the cost of doing business when you swim against the Establishment current.
But it seems that the author felt his article needed a big finale, so he concludes by pointing out that Momentum had just put together a huge, all-male shortlist for ‘regional chair’ positions:
Boom – case closed.
Except there are some problems with the claim. The first is that it’s simply not true – Momentum did not publish a shortlist of candidates for ‘regional chairs’ in January.
The Spectator appears to have picked up this article by right-wing trash site Guido Fawkes and used its claim as fact:
But the author appears to have missed something:
Last year, not ‘last week’. But that’s not the end of the problems with the recycled, year-old article.
It was fake when it was first published.
Momentum doesn’t have ‘regional chairs’. The election was for Momentum’s National Coordinating Group (NCG) – which is made up of representatives from the regions.
Three regions, each with three representatives. Twelve in total – but no ‘regional chairs’.
And there’s more. Not only were the candidates not all men, more than half – seven of the twelve – are women.
And there’s still more: every single regional group has at least fifty percent female members:
The NCG also has representatives from the trade unions affiliated to it – three out of five are female. It has four ‘Labour public office holders’ – two are women.
“Resolutely male“? Hardly.
A Momentum spokesperson confirmed all the above, adding:
Yep, it’s fake news. The original Guido article was about last year’s NCG elections and it was completely inaccurate. Details of our NCG, which obviously is very well balanced re women and BAME representation, can be found at www.peoplesmomentum.com/ncg
The SKWAWKBOX called The Spectator’s office to ask for comment and was asked to email the request to online news editor Lara Prendergast. In spite of several calls today to prompt for a response, none was received by the time of publication. The original article has been archived at Wayback Machine.
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