Ever since Jeremy Corbyn first put himself forward to be Labour leader in 2015, the founder of Momentum, Jon Lansman, has been one of the most influential figures in Labour politics. Yet, as the far-left group has grown from a simple campaign to elect Corbyn, to a fearsome fundraising organisation at the heart of the Labour project, there has been a growing rift between the organisation’s members and its founder.
Now it may be that this relationship has finally reached its breaking point. Today, one of the organisation’s two corporate entities has updated its entry on Companies House to show that Lansman has ceased to be ‘a person with significant control’ of the group:
The move follows comments Lansman made in February this year, in which he said that the Labour party has a widespread problem with anti-Semitism. The remarks infuriated some members of the campaign group, who see allegations of anti-Semitism as smears against Labour, and who have reportedly called for Lansman to be ousted from Momentum as a result.
Lansman has also sparred with Momentum executives in the past over how the group is run. In 2018, he hit out at the group’s decision to form an ‘electoral college’ of politicians, and called for it instead to adopt a one-member, one vote (OMOV) system which would have handed more power to the grassroots.
Momentum itself is made up of two separate company structures: ‘Momentum Campaign (Services) Ltd’ and ‘Jeremy for Labour Ltd.’ The former manages some of the group’s operations, whilst the latter handles its campaign data. It is Momentum Campaign (Services) Ltd which Lansman has been removed from today. Following his termination as a company director in January 2017, it seems that Lansman no longer holds any control over the company structures. At present, he does still remain though a director of Momentum’s data organisation.
Could the man behind Corbyn’s rise finally be ousted from the organisation he founded? Based on the cut-throat, factional nature of far-left politics, Mr S wouldn’t rule it out.