Negative media coverage of Jeremy Corbyn 'boost Momentum membership’

Posted On: 
26th February 2018

Negative media stories about Jeremy Corbyn help boost membership of the left-wing campaign group Momentum, the organisation has claimed.

Jeremy Corbyn supporting campaign group Momentum has recorded a recent surge in its membership
Credit: 
PA

According to the group’s own data, which has been seen by the Guardian, spikes in the Labour leader’s support base have coincided with critical coverage of him in the right-wing press.

The latest surge is reportedly linked to allegations in the Sun and the Daily Mail about Mr Corbyn’s dealings with a Czech spy in the 1980s.

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In claims published by the papers, Mr Sarkocy - a former Czech spy who posed as a diplomat - said Mr Corbyn was one of several Labour MPs who passed information to the former communist country during the Cold war - allegations dismissed as a "ridiculous smear" by party bosses.

But according to Momentum the coverage has encouraged more people to sign-up, putting its membership at around 37,000.

Apparently buoyed by the criticism of Mr Corbyn, the organisation says it is now gaining around 1,500 newcomers a month.

Laura Parker – who used to work directly for the Labour leader in his parliamentary office but is now Momentum’s national coordinator, said: “Labour’s extraordinary result in the last election showed that tabloids run by tax-dodging press barons do not decide elections.”

“But the fact that attacks by the right-wing press have actually increased support for Momentum shows how low they have sunk in the eyes of the public.

“Being hated by the Daily Mail has become a seal of approval and, for most people, their criticism is actually an endorsement.”