Both the main groupings standing candidates for Momentum’s national coordinating group (NCG), Forward Momentum and Momentum Renewal, have now announced their full, 24-strong slates of candidates. Nominations, and sign-ups for Momentum membership to vote in the election, close on 11 June, and voting is 16-30 June.
The Momentum Renewal (momentumrenewal.co.uk) slate is far more “celebrity” heavy than the Forward Momentum one, with Labour conference arrangements committee member and London party vice-chair Seema Chandwani; Scottish deputy leadership candidate Matt Kerr; NEC member Huda Elmi; Jon Trickett MP; London assembly member Murad Qureshi; and Preston council leader Matthew Brown. It includes at least four who are already NCG members (a quarter of the elected part of the existing NCG), plus one former NCG member, two ex-Momentum office staff, twelve politicians of various sorts, and two MPs’ staffers.
There are a couple of politically surprising people on the MR slate, and the very worst Stalinists, witch-hunters and bullies have been left off. Nonetheless, this is clearly very much a species of “continuity Momentum”, and moreover represents the worst wing of the Momentum office faction (more analysis here). The Forward Momentum slate is more of a mixed bag politically (see here). It includes three candidates who backed the Momentum Internationalists program in the FM primaries (Abbie Clark, Nadia Whittome, Ana Oppenheim). One, Abbie Clark, has been central to MI. MI will challenge other candidates to back that platform, and other candidates who back it will also be standing.
In the Midlands region, where Forward Momentum is standing Andrew Scattergood, a left-wing Fire Brigades Union activist, Momentum Renewal are also standing an FBU activist — Andrew Fox-Hewitt, a prominent supporter of nationalist demagogue Paul Embery. Many of the FM candidates are unknown to us. There are two who made witch-hunting the AWL one of their central primary planks (Sonali Bhattacharyya and Mick Moore); and one (Liz Smith) who has argued vocally and organised actively around the idea that Momentum’s problem was too much criticism and pressure on Corbyn.
Activists in and linked to the Red Flag group are standing three candidates under the banner “Anticapitalist Platform”.
The Momentum website displays candidates as they nominate (see here). All nominated by 2 June were outside the main slates. The wing of the left that is hostile to outgoing Momentum chair Jon Lansman not because of his suppression of Momentum democracy but because he has correctly identified antisemitism on the left as a real problem seems to be backing East London Labour activist Syed Siddiqi, who stood in the FM primary but is now standing independently. That wing includes Lansman’s disgruntled former lieutenant Christine Shawcroft, but also some other surprisingly prominent London Labour figures.
When MR launched we described it as “Morning Star Momentum”. In fact the Morning Star has for whatever reason not backed MR.
The Skwawkbox blog has denounced MR as a careerist-dominated “Lansman front”. Skwawkbox was not bothered about the destruction of Momentum democracy but dislikes Lansman for speaking out about antisemitism.