Labour bosses vote to axe 'moderate' student body in major win for Momentum boss Jon Lansman

Posted On: 
17th September 2019

Labour officials have backed a move by the boss of Momentum to axe a moderate group representing student members of the party.

Jon Lansman said Labour Students was not properly affiliated to the party.
PA Images

A marathon meeting of Labour's national executive committee agreed to pass a motion in the name of Jon Lansman calling for Labour Students to be disbanded.

Mr Lansman had claimed the NEC had never approved the group's affiliation to the Labour party.

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In addition, the Momentum chief said Labour Students had never paid its affiliation fees - a claim denied by the group's chair, Rania Ramli.

Ms Ramli had written to Jennie Formby, Labour's general secretary, urging her to reject Mr Lansman's motion, which called for the NEC to "urgently devise a plan to establish a Labour Students organisation which does meet its obligations".

However, the motion was passed unanimously by the powerful body.

One party source told PoliticsHome: "It's another nail in the coffin for a sensible Labour party delivered by an old man who couldn’t lace the campaigning boots of Labour students."

In a statement issued before the NEC meeting, Labour Students said: "This motion is being brought forward as we approach a general election, with no alternative proposals for how the Labour party organises and engages with students.

"This chaotic Tory government is taking the country towards a disastrous no deal Brexit that would destroy jobs across the country. Poverty is on the rise and austerity has devastated communities. Racism is getting worse and the far-right are gaining ground in the UK and across the world.

"And we are on the eve of a general election that could tackle these issues and bring much needed change to people’s lives. That’s why Labour Students’ focus is on voter registration and making sure we are ready to mobilise students across the country.

"The organisation has been working with the Labour Party towards this goal for decades and that has not changed."

Several Labour MPs made clear their opposition to Mr Lansman's move.

Wes Streeting said: "The Labour Party should be focusing all its energies on winning the next general election, not Jon Lansman’s factional vendettas against Labour Students. It is literally student politicking, when we’re in the fight our lives for the future of the country."

Stella Creasy said: "Why at such a critical time in our country and with an election on the horizon does anyone who wants Labour to be an effective force for good think this is the time for such attempts to silence parts of our youth movement when we need them to be seen and heard campaigning?”