Steerpike Steerpike

Momentum’s NEC candidates: a beginner’s guide

Labour’s latest anti-Semitism row has gone from awful to even worse thanks to a recording leaking in which veteran left-winger and NEC member Peter Willsman dismisses some of Corbyn’s critics in the Jewish community as ‘Trump fanatics’, suggests critics could ‘falsify social media’ and questions whether his colleagues had actually seen anti-Semitism in the party.

While Labour grandees and young Corbynista pundits have been quick to condemn the comments, a number of Corbyn allies are staying schtum. The problem is that with fresh elections underway as of last week to decide who will be elevated to Labour’s governing body, the National Executive Committee (NEC), this comes at a bad time for the Corbynista wing of the party. Willsman had been on the Momentum slate and this morning a number of high profile Corbynistas have been keen to push the other candidates standing alongside him:

As the committee responsible for disputes, expulsions and Labour policy, it is these candidates who will decide how Her Majesty’s Opposition will confront the growing allegations of discrimination in the party against Jewish people.

So, will the Momentum candidates be up to the task of rooting out and banishing anti-Semitism forever? Mr Steerpike casts his eye over five of the candidates to see where they stand.

Peter Willsman

The veteran left-winger Peter Willsman is – as of this morning – the most high profile of the Momentum candidates. Aside from dismissing some of Corbyn’s critics in the Jewish community as ‘Trump fanatics’, he is part of the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD) group which vowed this year to fight any attempt to expel Ken Livingstone from the party.

Will the member of the leading body be taking the concerns of the Jewish community seriously? At a recent NEC meeting, he said

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