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Tue, 11 August 2020

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Momentum boss: Jeremy Corbyn won Labour MPs their boosted majorities

Momentum boss: Jeremy Corbyn won Labour MPs their boosted majorities

Emilio Casalicchio

2 min read

Labour MPs who increased their majorities at the snap election in June have Jeremy Corbyn to thank rather than any personal reputation with voters, the boss of Momentum said today.


Jon Lansman said the Labour leader, the party’s manifesto and the activists on the ground were crucial to the results and it had nothing to do with their “personal effect”.

But one who saw his vote share soar by more than 20% told PoliticsHome the claim was "not credible" and that the Momentum founder should show "a little more humility".

Many MPs who expected to lose their seats at the vote in June in fact won again with increased majorities. Labour also made a net gain of 30 seats – although five sitting MPs were ousted.

Hove MP Peter Kyle and Bristol West MP Thangham Debbonaire were among those who saw big gains in their local support.

But speaking at a Momentum event at The World Transformed – Momentum’s sister conference to the Labour party annual bash – Mr Lansman dismissed the idea MPs had any personal mandates.

“The massively increased in majorities of people in the Parliamentary Labour Party, some of whom have been critical of Jeremy Corbyn, was not down to the personal effect of those individual MPs,” he declared.

“It was down to the manifesto, it was down to the personal role of Jeremy Corbyn and it was down to the efforts of hundreds of thousands of members who participated in that election.”

'A LITTLE MORE HUMILITY'

But Mr Kyle told PoliticsHome: "I have recognised time and time again that part of my majority in Hove increasing by a factor of 15 is due to Jeremy’s campaigning zeal during the election.

"However, we also had the biggest swing from Tory to Labour in the country and over 10,000 Tories deciding to vote for Labour for the first time. It’s not credible to suggest that that was all my doing or Jeremy’s doing.

"I’m learning the lessons of Jeremy’s campaigning and its benefits. If Momentum and Jeremy choose to learn also from the experience of places like Hove we would have delivered a landslide victory that would have made 1997 pale.

He added: "A little more humility from some quarters would go an awful long way as Labour moves towards the next election in my opinion."

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