Is Harman the next to be ousted by the Corbynistas?
HARD- left activists have taken over the ruling body of Harriet Harman’s constituency labour party, prompting fears she could face deselection.
the Jeremy Corbyn-backing Momentum group now has a majority on the executive committee in the MP’s seat of Camberwell and Peckham in South london.
It is the latest seat seized by the group, which has taken control of one london council and is targeting others.
Several moderate labour MPs have been targeted by Momentum activists and face the threat of deselection.
the seat of Camberwell and Peckham has been held for 36 years by Miss Harman, who was once labour’s acting leader.
Momentum organisers hailed the victory, saying the branch had ‘swung decisively to the left’ away from the ‘Right’, in a reference to Miss Harman.
At last week’s annual meeting of the Camberwell and Peckham labour party, 12 Momentumbacking officers were elected to the 15 posts on the committee, up from just three previously.
Moderate labour members who stood for officer positions failed to win in the power grab.
One of the newly-elected officers is Marion Roberts, the former wife of Mr Corbyn’s brother Piers, who lives in the bordering constituency of Bermondsey. Momentum founder Jon lansman also lives in the seat.
Southwark Momentum organiser Chris Bright wrote a blog describing the strategy behind the takeover, saying it was result of ‘patient work’ since 2016, when Mr Corbyn was elected labour leader.
Mr Bright said Mr Corbyn’s backers had ‘started winning the political arguments’ against the ‘witchhunt’, a reference to accusations of anti-Semitism against the party, and ‘social cleansing’.
He added that in previous elections more long-standing members tended to revert to the candidates they knew.
this time, he said, they flooded the branch with Corbyn supporters and encouraged them to stand as branch officers and delegates.
Among the officers elected to the Constituency labour Party in Camberwell and Peckham was Dave lewis as secretary. He rejoined the labour party the day Mr Corbyn became leader after leaving under tony Blair. A senior labour source said: ‘there is a focus on internal infighting and deselecting sitting candidates rather than trying to win new seats. they should concentrate on the real threats.’
Another local labour member
‘Taken over the whole party’
said: ‘Momentum have taken over the whole of the party. the people who are not Momentum you can count on one hand.’
the constituency will send eight delegates to labour’s national party conference this year, all of whom are Momentum supporters, up from two out of four last year.
that means that there are likely to be more delegates who are able to vote in favour of policies backed by Mr Corbyn.
In Haringey in North london, the council leader Claire Kober quit, blaming sexism and bullying by Momentum members.
Momentum ousted sitting councillors and replaced them with leftwingers, giving them a controlling majority after May’s local elections.
Momentum has also been accused of seeking a nationwide purge of centrist councillors and has reportedly drawn up a hitlist of moderate labour MPs it wants deselected.
earlier this year, Momentum deselected labour’s moderate mayor in Newham, east london.
However, some senior labour sources say Miss Harman does not face an imminent deselection threat. they say the local Cam- paign forum, the group that attends the party conference, will still have a majority of moderates because it includes delegates from two other councils. Miss Harman declined to comment.
Moderate: Miss Harman