Breaking: Lansman declares for GenSec – but the message is confusing

Momentum founder Jon Lansman has tweeted to confirm his intention to apply for the position of Labour Party General Secretary:

lansman dec.png

The message is not straightforward. Lansman encourages any members to apply and especially female members – but does not say whether he will stand aside if a female member does apply, or elaborate why he is standing against a widely-supported female applicant when “we should have more women in Labour’s top team“.

The expressed wish to see the General Secretary position elected by Labour members will also raise eyebrows among Labour – and Momentum – members who have expressed concerns about Momentum’s processes for selecting its ‘slate’ for key Labour Party elections. That process cannot be described as democratic and its opacity has been criticised, with many Momentum members calling for democratic selections as a matter of urgency.

Lansman’s interpretation of the vacancy as an ‘opportunity to trust, empower and listen to our members and trade union affiliates’ could also be interpreted as being at odds with the fact that the party leader twice elected by those members and affiliates views the General Secretary position as a key administrative role whose job is to enact and facilitate the leadership and the democratic wishes of party members. Corbyn is therefore against the idea of electing it.

The Skwawkbox has put questions about these points to Mr Lansman and is awaiting his response.

The Skwawkbox understands that Jon Lansman has spent the last twenty-four hours or so trying to persuade a female former employee of Jeremy Corbyn to stand. His announcement today may be a signal that he was unsuccessful.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


  1. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Why is it necessary to repeat this oft used and usually accurate adage.

  2. The important thing is that he steps aside if a right wing candidate applies, else a split vote might let them in. His candidacy isn’t a problem as things stand, and a bit of competition always makes for a better respected result.

  3. As much as you might want jensec, it can’t be right to repeat the blairism and clintonism of a simple coronation!

  4. The single most important reason why Lansman must not become GS is because he is close to the JLM, the group dedicated to preventing Corbyn from becoming PM.

  5. Splitter Lansman. I am a Momentum member and supporter . I shall be watching his antics as things move forward. If as I fear they are detrimental to a Left Wing, female being elected Lansman will have no further future within the Labour Movement and that includeds Momentum.

    1. Appreciate the sentiments of your post Colin but I think Lansman will very much have a future in both groups considering he was instrumental in bringing into existence the most successful campaigning team Labour has ever had and is a full on supporter of JC .
      He may have his faults but by Christ there are a hell of a lot worse in the PLP and they are the one’s we need to be focusing on now and not fighting amongst our own.
      My own take on this is that he probably knows he hasn’t much chance but has stood to try and encourage others to stand and thats all to the good as it looks less like a coronation and some semblance of a open competition.
      I personally hope he stays put in the NEC post he has but as we ,the membership , don’t get OMOV on this then at least lets have the appearance of a competition.
      Divided we fall , united we win and the left must now stay united.

  6. I think Jon Lansman needs to remain where he is on the NEC. Also, this is not an elected position and should be based on competence, rather than only popularity. I support Jennie Formby

      1. Yes, I thought I’d check out the Labourlist website a couple of hours or so ago to see what support there was for Lansman, and the top listed story was in relation to this. I’m no doubt being over-cynical, but is it just coincidence that this smear should resurface (Huffpost were covering it when I did a check/search earlier)) the very same day that Jon Lansman confirms he is bidding for the post of GS.

  7. This is another example of poor judgment shown by Jon Lansman, folowing close on the heels of his ill judged decision to publicly attack an anti-apartheid campaigner.

    I say this as somebody who thinks Momentum is the most effective campaigning machine in the country and who financially supports Momentum.

    Lansman would be well advised to place the interests of the party above his own personal ambitions.

    Bad call, Jon. Withdraw.

  8. Absolutely disgusted by the anti-semitic smears aimed at Jon Lansman present on these comments. Shame on Skwawkbox for indulging this line of attack.

    I wish Jon Lansman the best of luck in his attempts to be General Secretary. Such a powerful, and inherently political, position should not be decided in a backroom deal between the leaders office and a handful of union leaders, but with proper democratic process with input from the whole membership. Anything else is anti-democratic.

    1. What ‘line of attack’? Do you disagree that Jon’s comments send a mixed message? But the article has no antisemitic content so it would be good if you make yourself clearer what you’re talking about. As for electing a general secretary, it’s astonishingly naive – creating yet another power base with a mandate would simply be to entrench the problems we all faced with McNicol, who acted as if he had one.

    2. Delroy Re your claim of anti-semitic remarks, could you give us one or two examples. There are none of course, and you are using anti-semitism as a political weapon, which is of course totally abhorrent and beneath contempt.

      Shame on you, mostly for propagandising anti-semitism, but also for insulting peoples’ intelligence, as if anyone reading through the comments can’t tell the difference between legitimate concerns (re Lansman’s decision to stand for GS) and anti-semitism.

      Please go away you disgusting shill.

  9. Given that what Ken said was just a statement of historical fact (and anyone who has done the research will know that to be the case), one has to ask why John Lansman came down on the side of those criticising him and expressing faux outrage and accusing him of being anti-semitic. The idea that Ken is anti-semitic is ludicrous of course, and Lansman knows it.

    The point is that not only should Lansman have NOT joined in the chorus of fake and phoney condemnation, but he should have been doing everything he could to get the truth out there via Momentum to combat the faux outrage etc – ie put a leaflet together to circulate (email) to members asking them to run off fifty or a hundred or more copies and distribute them through peoples’ doors in the area where they live.

    In their statement as to why they will not be supporting John Lansman’s bid, Labour Against the Witch-hunt said the following:

    When Jackie Walker was suspended from the Labour Party on trumped-up charges of anti-semitism, Jon Lansman did not defend her. Quite the opposite: he quickly removed her as vice-chair of Momentum and hand-picked her replacement.

    And they WERE trumped up, as is the case with just about all those who have been accused of anti-semitism since JC became leader, many of them actually Jewish themselves (Jackie Walker is half-Jewish – her father was Jewish – and her husband is Jewish). And no doubt if the ‘moderates’ were to regain control of the LP, all the anti-semitism would magically disappear, along with the abuse and sexual harrasment and homophobia etc!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: