After the recent local elections, John McDonnell put Labour’s ‘better-than-expected’ results in part down to the efforts of Momentum activists. Alas, it seems that not everyone involved with the hard-left campaign group is so in chime with the party when it comes to Labour values.
Mr S understands that Momentum’s Marlene Ellis has been suspended by the party over an open letter to Corbyn from the Momentum Black ConneXions group. Ellis — who previously made the news after she was accused of labelling Chuka Umunna as not ‘politically black‘ — co-signed the blog post which calls on Corbyn to reverse the ‘unjustified suspension of Ken Livingstone’ after the former mayor was suspended over his Hitler comments. In the post — which Ellis has co-signed — MBC accused Corbyn of playing ‘right into the hands of Zionist criminals’:
‘The totally unjustifiable knee-jerk reaction to pro-Zionist and other Right wing pressures from within and outside the current Labour Party Leadership by the suspension of Ken Livingstone over his quite interesting remarks on Anti-Semitism and Anti-Racism has sent shock waves into the very heart of our Black Communities in Britain and all over the World!
We of Momentum Black ConneXions (MBC) never imagined a Labour Party led by you, Jeremy Corbyn, would ever immediately react in such frightful haste by clamping down on the freedom of critical radical expression.’
The letter goes on to call for the suspension of Labour’s John Mann rather than Ken after the pair clashed over his comments. The group claim that it is Mann who really ‘brought the party into disrepute’:
‘He clearly has an agenda, has brought the party into disrepute and has deliberately misrepresented the honest intentions of Ken Livingstone in order to undermine Sadiq Khan, yourself and therefore, the Labour Party. We call for his immediate suspension and for him to also go through a disciplinary process.’
However, it’s Ellis who is now the one facing a disciplinary process. She claims she has been suspended from the party over the post — vowing that Momentum Black ConneXions will ‘not be silenced’:
Given that Ellis shared a platform with McDonnell at a Momentum event as recently as December — along with Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott previously — her comments will no doubt only fuel concerns within the party over the campaign group’s links to the Labour leadership.
Steerpike has contacted both Ellis and Labour for comment.