EXCL Momentum Brexit tour slammed as 'left-wing jamboree' by Labour MP
A nationwide tour of Leave-voting areas by an offshoot of Momentum has been branded a "cringeworthy left-wing jamboree" by a Labour MP.
The 'Take Back Control' events, organised by The World Transformed, launch in Sunderland on 1 April. Other venues include Barnsley, Bradford, Hastings and Dagenham.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and former Labour frontbenchers Clive Lewis and Rachel Maskell - who both quit over Jeremy Corbyn's decision to back the triggering of Article 50 - are among the speakers scheduled to speak at the events.
Organisers say the tour is aimed at "marginal constituencies and those under threat from Ukip".
But Barnsley East MP Michael Dugher said they would be "counter-productive" and said Labour bosses should instead trust local politicians to see off the Ukip threat.
He said: "The way to combat Ukip is to expose them for being more Tory than the Tories, have no answers and want to do things like privatise the NHS.
"But the party nationally should be backing the party locally who are at the sharp end of this Tory government. That means supporting our Labour council and our local MPs. We also have to be in the right place on immigration, defence and security, economic credibility, jobs and pay.
"The idea that the way to win is to slate the local political establishment, then get a bunch of thorough-going metropolitans to rock up from London, uninvited, to share platforms with our political opponents at some cringeworthy left-wing jamboree is absolutely crackers and totally counter-productive."
Former Shadow Environment Secretary Ms Maskell said: "The overriding cry from the EU referendum was that people wanted more control over the lives they lead and those who represent them in our political institutions. When you don’t know how many hours you will work on your zero-hour contract, or when your landlord will tell you to pack your bags, it is increasingly impossible to have control over anything.
"The Government, in refusing to listen to the needs people have, highlights the need for people across every community to get their voice heard and make their politicians work for them. The debate should not be about the political institutions but the way those who hold office engage and respond and most importantly empower people in their community to have a voice."
'Take Back Control' organiser Steve Hansom, from Sunderland, said: "Paul Nuttall may wear a flat cap and speak with a Scouse accent, but that doesn’t mean he’s got your back. He is no different to Farage, who is no different to May - just another politician who directs anger and frustration at the most vulnerable instead of going after those at the top.
"I desperately want to see a better future for Sunderland, one with jobs, homes and a stronger community. But we’re never going to be able to build this future unless we take back control from the bankers, bosses and CEOS who keep creaming off the top."