In an explosive resignation letter to Momentum bosses, Laura Rogers accused them of ignoring the wishes of activists by unilaterally endorsing Anna Gillett as the Momentum candidate in the upcoming selection to choose a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Turo and Falmouth seat. She told them: “I cannot preside over a group in which democratic processes have been so insidiously undermined”.
Rogers claimed that Gillett had been selected by Momentum HQ “behind closed doors” and “without any vote or discussion within the local Momentum group”. She alleged that senior organisers at Momentum, which was created as a grassroots movement that claims to be reclaiming the Labour party on behalf of its activists, “told outright lies about alternative candidates”. Gillett was endorsed by Momentum on Friday after members were told she was the only candidate. Several local members abstained.
Rogers accused Momentum bosses of controlling the organisation from Head Office and hit out at them for failing to allow members to make their own decisions. She wrote: “In November 2016, Momentum conducted a referendum as to whether we wanted a delegate based structure or “one member one vote” (meaning a system of online votes). Since that time, no member has had a vote on anything of any substance and local groups have no power at all – we are not even allowed to send out our own emails. “OMOV” was a lie and a power grab by a bureaucratic, in many cases unelected, clique afraid of rank and file organising”. She alleged that Momentum is now closing down debate, refusing to give members autonomy and exercising such a tight degree of control that it is even preventing local branches from sending out their own emails. Her resignation letter says: “In parts of Momentum, bureaucratic maneuvering, scaremongering and slander have replaced rigorous open and honest discussion and debate”.
In a damning indictment of the tactics employed by the hard-left group, which is widely-regarded as Jeremy Corbin’s praetorian guard, Rogers ends her letter by saying: “The Corbyn surge has been an exciting time of hope and opportunity for socialist politics. As someone who has been active in the socialist movement for over a decade and very active in the “Corbyn movement” ever since 2015, I feel deeply disappointed that we have not held ourselves to a higher standard here in Truro and Falmouth. Democracy is the oxygen of our movement and without it we are sure to flounder”.
Momentum dispute Rogers’ claims, telling us that the local party had a meeting to decide which candidate to back, and voted 16-4 in favour of Anna Gillett.