Momentum launches bid to help Labour members deselect sitting MPs
Momentum has launched a bid to help Labour members deselect sitting MPs in an attempt to get more young, diverse and working class politicians in the Commons.
The pro-Jeremy Corbyn group said it will support moves to introduce "open selections" across the country, which would see MPs facing automatic challenges from local activists before being allowed to stand at a general election.
Taking aim at the ongoing Tory leadership race, Momentum said there were too many "posh men from expensive private schools" dominating British politics, and it was time for Labour to redress the balance.
A campaign by Momentum led to changes to Labour party rules last year which make it easier for local members to challenge MPs for reselection.
A spokesperson for the group said: “For too long an outdated rulebook and a culture of deference have meant an absence of democracy and accountability across the party.
“Now, with changes won by Momentum supporters at last year’s conference, Labour members have the opportunity to campaign for fair and open selections across the country and open the door to a new generation of MPs…
“People feel deeply alienated by our broken political system, and campaigning for open selections across the country will help surface a new generation of young, BAME, working class leaders who will take on the political establishment and provide a genuine alternative.”
As Labour’s selection process for the next election gets underway, a number of long-standing MPs such as Kate Hoey and Kevin Barron have already declared they will stand down at the next general election.
The party HQ’s swift move to kickstart election mode came as a surprise to some Labour MPs, who fear it is being used to ‘purge’ moderate members.
The Momentum spokesperson added: “We must remember that our strength lies in knowledge and talent of Labour’s half a million members who live and work in every community.
“Collectively, they understand the damage wrought by decades of neoliberalism. They know we need a bold, radical agenda in government to rebuild communities, take on the establishment and avert climate disaster.
“They are the kind of people we need as Labour MPs in a Corbyn led government, and Momentum will support its members to push for open selections across the country and give this new generation a shot at parliament.”