Momentum leading 'far left takeover' of Labour, claims former deputy leader Roy Hattersley

Posted On: 
3rd December 2017

Labour moderates are facing a crucial battle to keep the party from being taken over by the "far left", according to the party's former deputy leader.

A member of Momentum watches Jeremy Corbyn's speech at the Labour conference in Brighton
Credit: 
PA

Roy Hattersley, a veteran of the 1980s battle with hard left group Militant, said campaign group Momentum was trying to take over the party through "subversion". 

He claimed the group was determined to oust moderate MPs and councillors while also changing Labour's rule book to suit their aims. 

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And he condemned senior MPs who have not spoken out against Momentum. 

"The threat to Labour’s future is real and obvious," Mr Hattersley writes in today's Observer.

"Yet, not one of those who resigned from the shadow cabinet in protest against Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, has publicly condemned what amounts to a takeover.

He pointed to his own experience as an example of how centrists can take on leftwingers. 

"Thirty years ago, moderates won the battle against Militant by taking the campaign to the country and demonstrating that genuine democratic socialism was worth fighting for.

"Now Momentum is winning by default. “Real Labour” needs a better response to the prospect of a far-left takeover than glum opposition to Len McCluskey and all his works – understandable though that is."

WATFORD COMPLAINT

His criticisms came as members of the Labour party in Watford made an official complaint about the pro-Corbyn group imposing a candidate on their constituency. 

Party members complained that they had been forced to accept Unite official Mike Hedges as a candidate despite him failing the usual interview process. 

Labour sources told the Observer that Mr Hedges had been reinstated after an intervention from Jim Kennedy, another Unite official who sits on the party's National Executive Committee. 

Members of the selection committee in Watford have now written to the NEC to voice their anger at the situation. 

“We are deeply worried that the democratic processes of our Party are being undermined in such a manner and a candidate is being imposed in such a way," their letter states. 

"Let us be clear, this complaint is nothing to do with the individual applicant concerned, but with the blatant disregard for the process.”