Momentum chief: Claims of bullying in Labour are ‘mud-slinging’

Momentum chief becomes the latest Corbynista to downplay Labour’s anti-Semitism scandal describing the claims as ‘mud-slinging’ from an establishment ‘running scared’

  • Momentum national coordinator Laura Parker dismissed claims against group
  • She said accusations of abuse are smears by establishment ‘running scared’
  • Defended Corbynistas outside anti-Semitism hearing as Jewish MP entered
  • She suggested Ruth Smeeth should have slipped through the back door  

Claims of bullying and anti-Semitism among activists in the Jeremy Corbyn-backing campaign group momentum is ‘all mud-slinging’ its chief has said.  

Jewish Labour MPs have told how they received a barrage of abuse – including rape and death threats – and were threatened with deselection after they dared to speak out.

But Momentum national coordinator Laura Parker dismissed claims her group is behind an attempted purge of Labour moderates as smears from an establishment ‘running scared’.

And she said she can count the number of genuine accusations of bullying ‘on the fingers of one hand’. 

Momentum national coordinator Laura Parker (pictured) dismissed claims her group is behind an attempted purge of Labour moderates as smears from an establishment ‘running scared’

She said: ‘I think it’s because people have run out of road in terms of political analysis. 

‘Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour leadership have unsettled the political establishment who have not known, in some cases, what to do with themselves. 

‘And so the easy way out of that is attacking the behaviour, the alleged behaviour [of activists].’

But she risked sparking fresh fury by defending the crowd of Corbynista protesters who gathered outside an anti-Semitism hearing where Labour Jewish MP Ruth Smeeth was giving evidence last week.

Ms Smeeth, the MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, was escorted by around 50 Labour MPs and peers so she did not have to run the gauntlet of the chanting protester alone.

The group were chanting and branded claims Ms Smeeth had been the victim of anti-Semitism an anti-Corbyn ‘witch hunt’. 

Ms Parker suggested Ms Smeeth should have slipped into the hearing through a back door, rather than walk in through the front escorted by fellow MPs and peers.

She told The Times: ‘Personally, I don’t think we need to have large groups of MPs or large groups of protesters.

‘There are lots of entrances to that building. People could have easily made discreet entrances and exits from that building with no hoo-ha at all.’

Ms Parker insisted Momentum does not have a widespread problem with abuse and bullying among its members and said that they are smears peddled by an establishment running scared of Jeremy Corbyn (pictured in Stockwell with two women on Monday)

Ruth Smeeth (pictured, centre, in the black and white dress on the protest) was joined by around 50 MPs who escorted her  from Parliament to the hearing held nearby to show their support

Ruth Smeeth (pictured in the black and white dress, along with Jewish Labour peer Alf Dubbs to the left, and Labour MPs Luciana Berger and Jess Philips to her right) was escorted by the Labour politician past a noisy picket of Corbynistas who were chanting 

Ms Parker said she would not have ‘approached things’ the way the hecklers did – but stressed they had a right to protest. 

Critics of Momentum have warned that it is being used by hard-Left activists to seize control of the Labour Party.

They say the group is trying to purge the party of Labour moderates in scenes reminiscent of the 1980s, when socialists penetrated the party helping to exile it from power for a generation.

In January Claire Kober, the long-standing leader of Haringey Council, sensationally quit – blaming her decision on the ‘sexism, bullying and undemocratic behaviour’ of Momentum activists.

She announced plans to step down after her local Labour group was ripped apart by an influx of Corbynistas.

Ms Kober, who has spent 10 years leading the north London authority, said she has faced a volley of personal attacks and cannot put up with it any longer. 

But Ms Parker said the ‘mythical hard left’ is a figment of the imagination of right-wing critics and that Momentum is just made up of ordinary people.

And she said that many of the activists firing off offensive abuse and insults in Momentum’s name are actually masquerading as members. 

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