Revealed: Momentum chief attempts to shut down online bullying

A Twitter account run by Momentum members has been rebranded after Momentum chief Jon Lansman said it brought the organisation into disrepute after accusations of bullying

MOMENTUM CHIEF Jon Lansman has written to young members of the Labour-supporting group asking for a rogue Twitter account to be handed over after allegations of online bullying. 

In an email seen by Commonspace, Lansman said that “Momentum Youth and Students London” is not a group officially recognised by the campaign organisation, but that their online behaviour had contravened the organisation’s code of ethics and brought Momentum into disrepute. 

Originally tweeting under the handle @MYSLondon, the account referenced in Lansman’s  letter appears to have re-branded following Lansman’s email as “London Young Left”, organising under-30s in Labour. 

One recent tweet by the account, described by sources as a factional attack, celebrated a new Momentum constitution which it said banned “Trotskyite” members of the Labour party. The account claimed to want to clear out the “trots of the right wing” in 2018. 

Lansman said in his email that although MYS had no legitimacy to use Momentum’s name or logo, its use by members had at times brought the organisation into disrepute. 

As well as public tweets from the @MYSLondon account, Commonspace has seen posts made by people associated with the group online which accuses individuals of paedophilia and other hostile remarks. For legal reasons and to protect those involved, we have not published these. 

“I wanted to note, with regret, that the MYS social media accounts have at times been used in ways which have brought Momentum into disrepute and which are inconsistent with Momentum’s Code of Ethics, which seeks to promote values consistent with those of Jeremy Corbyn's two leadership campaigns, 'of fair, honest debate focused on policies, not personal attacks or harassment'.” Lansman wrote.

One young member in London who spoke to Commonspace said that behaviour like this is common: 

“Jokes about gulags and purging people from both Momentum and Labour are commonplace, as well as doctoring posts and accusing people of being paedophiles. It is the very worst of the left and no way to build a mass movement.” Commonspace source

“Their online conduct over the last year has been nothing short of odious.

“Jokes about gulags and purging people from both Momentum and Labour are commonplace, as well as doctoring posts and accusing people of being paedophiles. It is the very worst of the left and no way to build a mass movement.”

Momentum was set up after Jeremy Corbyn’s first leadership election. Although not officially affiliated to the Labour party, Momentum is widely credited with the grassroots organising which mobilised the party members in the 2017 General Election, helping Corbyn starve Theresa May of a majority in a shock outcome.

Asked about the allegations, a Momentum spokesperson said: “We don't comment on leaks.”

A Labour spokesperson said they could not comment on Momentum, but said: “Labour has a robust system in place for all complaints it receives.”
 
CommonSpace understands the Labour party has not received any complaints about this incident.

Picture courtesy of Garry Knight

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