POLITICS

Owen Jones Joins Forces With Momentum To Oust Tory Cabinet Ministers

Activists want to create 'Portillo' moments for senior MPs.

16/08/2017 09:58 BST
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Corbynista campaigners Momentum have joined forces with journalist Owen Jones in a bid to oust senior Tory MPs from their seats. 

Momentum’s Unseat movement aims to put Labour in power in “new marginal seats”, including those held by foreign secretary Boris Johnson, home secretary Amber Rudd, education secretary Justine Greening and former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith.

The group says it wants to create ‘Portillo moments’ for prominent Tories at the next election - in reference to the shock declaration at the Enfield Southgate count in 1997, when the cabinet minister was beaten by Labour’s then-unknown Stephen Twigg.

Each Unseat campaign day - the first of which will be held in Justine Greening’s Putney constituency on September 2 - will see activists given persuasion canvassing training developed jointly with the Bernie Sanders campaign team, followed by doorknocking sessions.

Momentum member Joseph Ejiofor said: “Labour offered a clear and viable alternative in the recent general election and now Conservative cabinet members like Boris Johnson, Amber Rudd and Justine Greening are no longer sitting in safe seats.

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Home secretary Amber Rudd has a majority of just 300.

“As the architects of Tory policies that have done huge damage to this country, Momentum are teaming up with journalist Owen Jones to campaign vigorously in their seats and take them for Labour at the next election.”

Also on the hit-list are controversial Shipley MP Philip Davies and former Tory leadership hopeful Stephen Crabb.

Owen Jones, a long-time supporter of Jeremy Corbyn who will be taking part in campaign sessions, said: “That Philip Davies sits in our House of Commons is a cause for national embarrassment.

“His repeated attempts to thwart and trash legislation to protect women from male violence reveal him as an unpleasant bigot. But we can defeat him. His majority was over 9,600 in 2015; this year, it more than halved.

“Stephen Crabb voted against equal marriage and has links to so-called ‘gay cure’ advocates. This opponent of civil rights had a nearly 5,000 majority in 2015; now it’s just 314.

 “If we campaign now, whenever the next election is called, we will defeat them both. Thousands of campaigners knocking on doors at the last election helped win Tory seats Labour had never before won - and turned Tory safe seats into marginals.”