Is Momentum about to back a People’s Vote?

PUBLISHED: 11:35 25 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:44 25 August 2018

A meeting of the local Camden division of Momentum. Photograph: Polly Hancock.

A meeting of the local Camden division of Momentum. Photograph: Polly Hancock.

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A petition of members of left-wing pressure group Momentum has hit a key milestone - triggering a bigger conversation with the wider membership.

At least 4,000 members of the group – formed to back Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership bid and now one of the most powerful voices within the Labour party – have now backed a policy change to support a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal.

As it stands Corbyn has refused to back a People’s Vote, but earlier this week Sir Keir Starmer said the option was still on the table.

Now Momentum’s ruling body will meet on 1 September to consider the petition, organised by Tower Hamlets activist Alena Ivanova, calling for the group to back a conference motion on holding a referendum on the final Brexit deal.

“If we were staring down the barrel of a no-deal gun, I personally would like to be asked what I thought about that,” Momentum organiser Laura Parker told the BBC.

“Because however you voted, you didn’t vote for this country to throw itself off a cliff... I could see a lot of Momentum members being very concerned.”

Amanda Chetynd-Cowieson from the anti-Brexit youth organisation For our Future’s Sake (FFS) said: “Momentum are a significantly influential voice within the Labour Party and this shows the ever-increasing pressure on Labour’s leadership to support a People’s Vote. A People’s Vote is the left wing argument, and the progressive one.”

A Labour source told The New European last month: “This could prove tricky for Jeremy. A significant shift from Momentum would certainly put pressure on him to back a People’s Vote. If this is debated at conference I think we really could see a change in direction.”

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