Dispatches Momentum Documentary Prompts Torrent Of Criticism Led By Owen Jones

'Well #Dispatches was an absolute embarrassment.'

19/09/2016 21:33 | Updated 20 September 2016

The much-anticipated Channel 4 Dispatches documentary ‘The Battle For The Labour Party’ aired on Monday night, claiming to expose the inner workings of the Jeremy Corbyn-supporting network Momentum.

Whether or not it succeeded is a matter of debate.

The show claimed the left-wing, grassroots movement was harvesting data, misusing campaign funds and trying to “take over” the Labour party.

Only, some people thought it was just a bit boring.

Owen Jones led the criticism, claiming the documentary was nothing more than a “hatchet job”.

A sentiment with which many agreed. 

In fact, it may have even served as a recruiting tool for Momentum.


Even the Tories were knocking it.


 A number of claims were made in the documentary including: 

  1. Momentum is trying to “take over” Labour by urging members to “flood” the Party.

  2. Momentum activists tried to conceal their level of involvement with the Labour Party.

  3. Funds meant for Corbyn’s campaign have been misused.

  4. Momentum used a Unite venue meant to be used by the wider Labour campaign.

  5. Momentum is harvesting personal data from Labour members.

On the opposite end of the scale to Jones, some viewers did think the documentary had performed a valuable service in shedding light on Momentum.


While others thought the Dispatches team would do well to concentrate on other topics...

Even though they have covered a whole host of programmes in the past...

Momentum released a video - before the show had even aired - showing the effect the documentary had had on its activists.

A Momentum spokesman told the Huffington Post UK that Channel 4’s investigation had exploited its “enthusiastic and young activists”, and that some allegations are “slurs or matters of opinion”.

He said: “Lawyers are looking at it and we’re minded to take this to Ofcom.”

They also insisted the group is not campaigning for deselections or mandatory reselection of MPs and “Labour members are free to organise as they see fit for candidate selections”.

It said any suggestions Momentum has been funded by Corbyn’s leadership campaign were false and claimed that in fact, Momentum has provided loans to Jeremy for Labour.

Momentum also complained that the Dispatches programme focuses on the actions of the left-wing Alliance of Workers’ Liberty, which it claims has around 100 members.


A Channel 4 spokesperson said: “Channel 4 has a remit to deliver high quality news and current affairs, and a track record for investigative journalism and holding those in power to account.

“This is a vital piece of investigative journalism, on an issue of critical national importance to everyone in the UK particularly in a period of political flux.”


Suggest a correction