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