Keir Starmer under pressure: Momentum launch new strategy to cripple Labour leader’s plan

Keir Starmer is in 'big trouble' with Labour voters says Bridgen

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The campaign group, set up to support Jeremy Corbyn in his bid to become Labour leader in 2015, yesterday unveiled a three-step plan to reach its “aim of electing a socialist Labour Government to deliver” a radical agenda. Called “Socialist Organising in a New Era”, the document outlines how the group plans to work with unions to shackle Sir Keir Starmer into sticking with left-wing policies agreed under the previous leadership.

The group called on its members to “elect socialist candidates at the local and national level, to work with the Socialist Campaign Group, trade unions and Labour left organisations to push for radical policy”.

Co-chairs Andrew Scattergood and Gaya Sriskanthan said the plan represented a new beginning for Momentum to push its vision for a socialist Britain.

They said: “There are many obstacles to confront, but one thing is certain: the era of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party is behind us, and it’s time to move forward.

“Socialist Organising in a New Era is the beginning of this.”

Momentum was highly influential in the direction of the party between 2015 and 2019 but has since lost some of its influence.

The group has been critical of Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership since he took over the top role from Mr Corbyn.

The Holborn and St Pancras MP has sought to move the party on from its days under his predecessor, who led the party to its worst election defeat in 84 years.

In 2019, Labour returned just 202 MPs to Westminster and saw its share of the vote drop by eight percentage points.

Upon being elected he vowed to “engage constructively with the Government, not opposition for opposition’s sake”.

He added: “Not scoring party political points or making impossible demands.

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“But with the courage to support where that’s the right thing to do.”

But some Labour members have been left angry and frustrated by his refusal to be more critical of the Government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sir Keir has also sparked outrage after suspending party members who refused to abide by a ban on debating the decision to remove the whip from Mr Corbyn that allows him to sit with Labour MPs in the Commons.

The former leader was temporarily suspended from the party, and had the whip removed upon his reinstatement, following his response to an inquiry into anti-Semitism in Labour.

The leadership said it was impossible to debate Mr Corbyn’s suspension without inadvertently discussing anti-Semitism and as a result being an unwelcoming place for Jewish members.

In its new strategy, Momentum has vowed to fight the party to get the supporters of Mr Corbyn re-instated to help in their plan to push the party more to the Left.

Hinting legal action could be taken, the document said: “The way forward also requires a robust defence of democracy, because for Labour to become a campaigning force capable of winning elections it must be organised from the ground up.

“So, we’ll stand with Labour members that have been unjustly suspended simply for upholding the rights of local Labour parties, and we’ll use every tactic available to challenge heavy-handed party management aimed at marginalising the left.”

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