Corbyn’s positive comments re two candidates excluded from Momentum NCC slate

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On Thursday, left-wing organisations CLPD (Campaign for Labour Party Democracy) and Momentum each announced competing – albeit overlapping – ‘slates’ for Labour’s important elections for additional members of the party’s senior disciplinary body, the National Constitutional Committee (NCC).

The CLPD slate, announced first, has been supported by Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL), Labour Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and, on Thursday evening, the LRC (Labour Representation Committee).

Momentum’s slate contains three candidates who also appear on the CLPD version – but omits a highly-regarded JVL member and two others, in favour of three other candidates.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is, of course, not backing any candidates publicly. But the SKWAWKBOX understands that he has talked positively about at least two out of the three candidates omitted from the Momentum slate.

Momentum founder Jon Lansman had objected to the inclusion of JVL member Stephen Marks during Wednesday’s discussions with CLPD and other organisations about the proposed left slate. However, he subsequently told the SKWAWKBOX that this was a personal view and that Momentum as an organisation was set to back Marks before talks broke down.

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Stephen Marks

In spite of that, Marks did not appear in the Momentum list. But Corbyn has made clear that he would not wish to see JVL excluded.

Also omitted from Momentum’s list is Islington councillor Gary Heather – even though last weekend Lansman told the SKWAWKBOX that Heather was one of two completely ‘uncontroversial‘ candidates, alongside Cecile Wright, who would reliably be approved by all parties to the slate discussion. Ms Wright does appear on both slates.


Gary Heather, from his Twitter profile

Corbyn is familiar with Heather, who is a councillor in the same borough as Corbyn’s parliamentary constituency – and has gone as far as to say that he considers Heather an ideal candidate for the NCC.

In spite of Momentum’s genesis as an organisation to support Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, it seems that on these two candidates at least, the organisation is at odds with the opinion of the Labour leader.

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  1. I’ve been fence-sitting over Momentum – contributed a little but haven’t joined because Lansman’s intentions are unclear to me.
    I know Skwawkbox believes in him and he’s apparently a long time friend to Corbyn but still…
    So many things seem uncharacteristic of a genuine left winger – otoh he’s done more to get Corbyn elected than most, allegedly.
    I’m definitely still a bit Mavis about him.

    1. Concur with Mr McNivens remarks. It is so sad to see the movement once again going down the factionalism road especially at a time when solidarity is vital. Sadly I remember a smug right wing MP saying a couple of years ago that the best approach to Momentum was to ignore it and let it tear itself apart.

    2. There has always been a basic rule vis-à-vis Lansman, if you shake hands with him, count your fingers afterwards!

    3. I like people in Momentum in my constituency. They are a force for good. Many of the grass roots worry about Lansman. You cannot exclude good people from the JVL because they have a difference of opinion with the more powerful JLM and LFI. The moderates and the right of the Party complain about the Left not wanting a broad church when it suits them, but do not want it when they disagree with others it seems.

  2. Somebody lend me a hand here. In the NEC nominations SkwawkB repeatedly made the point that by not voting for all 9 on the Momentum slate we put the whole thing, the Left project, at risk. Is this always the case? If so, then it seems incredible that the various, apparently competing, acronymic groups haven’t got their approach to a final slate sorted.

    I’m not so sure from the SkwawkB comments above that there is still quite the same commitment to the Momentum slate that there was over the NEC nominations. Given the appalling disciplinary treatment of various individuals over the last couple of years, I would certainly wish to see someone from the JVL on that committee. That would at least guarantee the presence of one member whose organisation understands the nonsense of the IHRA examples and the importance of Corbyn’s caveat.

  3. It’s no contest. This article suggests that Mr Corbyn would support the ‘Left Slate’ rather than the ‘Momentum Left Slate’ … and that’s good enough for me:

    Kaneez Akthar
    CLP: Keighley & Ilkley CLP
    Kaneez is a Labour Councillor in Keighley and has held party positions including Women’s Officer

    Annabelle Harle
    CLP: Cardiff West
    Annabelle has previously served as a Welsh Labour Executive Committee member, National Policy Forum member and CLP Secretary

    Gary Heather
    CLP: Islington North
    Gary is a Labour Councillor, has previously stood for Parliament and held positions including CLP Chair

    Stephen Marks
    CLP: Oxford East
    Stephen has previously served as a Labour County Councillor and held positions including Vice-chair of the District Labour Party

    Khaled Moyeed
    CLP: Tottenham
    Khaleed is a Labour Councillor, who has held positions including CLP BAME Officer. He is Vice Chair of Young Labour Lawyers

    Cecile Wright
    CLP: Derby North
    Cecile is a former member of the TUC Race Relations Committee, has served on a Mental Health Trust, acted as a Trustee of the National Children’s Bureau and chaired a Women’s Refuge. She has held positions including CLP Vice-chair

    There’s no question in my mind (see all the other articles on this blog and others) – it’s Momentum who are out of step; they need to get their act together or explain why they are willing to put the entire project at risk.

    1. Thank you, I’ll make a note. Good enough for Corbyn then it is for me too.

  4. ” it seems that on these two candidates at least, the organisation is at odds with the wishes of the Labour leader.” I very much doubt that the organisation is, but Lansman is and there’s the rub.

  5. Steve, if you are able to talk to Lansman, tell him to pull himself together. He is losing support by his actions. Fast. It may already be too late.

  6. I suspected Momentum would move to the Right after its internal coup and its vote in favour of the capitalist EU..

    For those of us who remember the ‘realignment of the left’ of 1984-5 where the Labour Co-ordinating Committee did the same thing and became the Blairites there is a sense of deja vu. So sad!

  7. How bloody confusing is this. First I feel I need a degree course to learn all the acronyms and a glossary at hand at all times. Then I would need a week to read all the CV’s and hopefully video statements. I would then spend time looking to see what other online interested parties were saying and working out who really are the best candidates. And finally I’m remindedI don’t have a vote and because of the short time frame our CLP will not spend time time debating it and the EC ( right leaning) will make the decision anyway. Give us an NCC that is playing silly buggers with the leadership and they’ll be hell to pay. Good luck Squawk with following this one,don’t make it your nemesis.

  8. I resigned my membership of Momentum a couple of months ago when Lansman spoke at a JLM Conference on the same platform as Margaret Hodge et al, this was in the middle of the Antisemitism furore. To me this showed where his loyalties are, it was also reported that his goals for Momentum were to align it with JLM. I also had my doubts about him when he withdrew support for Willsman (for the full JC9 slate) for the NEC, I listened to the tape & there was nothing antisemitic on the recording, so in my opinion he has ulterior motives & is now showing his hand.
    It’s time for him to do the honourable thing & resign from Momentum before unrepairable damage is done.

    1. I entirely agree with you and will resign from Momentum and withdraw my small contribution.

      1. Me too ,, I intend to use my ex Momentum contribution for CPLD
        Momentum you need to vote Lansman out or at least push im to one side , he’s splitting the Left for his own ego .

    2. I have added support in the past but never joined The behaviour of Lansman over the issues you highlighted helped make my mind up TBH not to join. I have friends who are members and went to a meeting but what is happening I’m afraid turned me right off.

  9. I don’t intend to take Momentum’s advice any more, regarding ‘left wing slates’. In 2017 Momentum’ NEC LW Slate included Anne Black who in my view was Labour RW. 2018 Momentum Wilsman was removed from Momentum’s slate which almost got Izzard promoted on the NEC. Now this fiasco!

  10. What the hell is happening at the top of Momentum? Why are they making so many stupid decisions lately? Have they been infiltrated at a high level by New Labour entryists?
    Maybe a mass vote for the CLPD slate (and not for the Momentum slate) is what’s needed to bring the Momentum leadership to their senses.

    1. It is a pity that election of Pete Willsman did not bring Momentum to seriously contemplate the future of Lansman. I wish Corbyn will take him aside and, as a friend, advise him to refrain from splitting the party.

  11. I have just read the statement about the slate situation from CLPD – Maria has kindly provided the link on the most recent SB thread page – I expect many will have already seen it and no doubt SB will be highlighting it shortly. It explains the situation in no uncertain terms and unless there is some kind of extraordinary u turn, the CLPD slate will now have my unequivocal support.

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