Theresa May hiring Tory 'foot soldiers' to take on Momentum in key battlegrounds
Theresa May is hiring a team of Conservative “foot soldiers” to build a Momentum-style army and take the fight to Labour in key battlegrounds, it has emerged.
The Prime Minister is bringing in new managers and Tory officials for on-the-ground campaigning and more staff to generate online content for Twitter and Facebook, according to the Sun on Sunday.
She has written to activists calling on them to sign up volunteers to help fight for Tory seats in the May local elections.
Her letter says: “We are recruiting a new army of foot soldiers to take the fight to Labour.
"It is clear from the results of the general election that we are more likely to win seats in which our organisation is strong.
“And it is an unfortunate fact that Labour’s organisation was better in many seats than ours.”
Volunteers will be trained to generate witty and memorable online content in the hope it will go viral. They will also learn to combat Labour-supporting ‘trolls’.
The Tories have been jolted into upping their game after they were far outflanked by Momentum and Labour in the online war at the general election in June.
Left-wing campaigners generated emotionally-charged content which was shared millions of times, while the Tories had resorted to paid-for social media ads.
Conservative officials have also been spooked by private polling which shows Labour is set to make gains in local authorities in May.
PoliticsHome revealed in January that Mrs May could face a leadership challenge if the Tories suffer a "meltdown" in the council elections.
A party insider told the Sun on Sunday: “Our aim is to replicate the organisational skills of Momentum – but not their tactics.
“If you like, you could call it Momentum without the intimidation, sexism or anti-semitism.”