Momentum launches new programme to train Labour activists in 160 marginal seats

Labour is targeting seats held by Boris Johnson and Iain Duncan Smith

Jon Stone
Thursday 03 August 2017 17:37
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The left-wing group says it wants the party to be ‘ready to beat the Tories’
The left-wing group says it wants the party to be ‘ready to beat the Tories’

Labour-supporting campaign group Momentum is to launch a new training network to “skill up” party activists in 160 key marginal seats.

The left-wing group, which has been leading canvassing teams in Iain Duncan Smith and Boris Johnson’s constituencies since the June election, says it wants the party to be “ready to beat the Tories”.

Activists are to be trained in “persuasive canvassing” – a technique that differs from the usual door-knocking techniques employed by most political parties in that it seeks to change the minds of voters instead of only collecting intelligence.

They will also be taught how to make viral videos of the kind produced by Momentum’s HQ, to generate positive local press coverage, and to understand the Labour party’s structures.

Seats never won by Labour but which where brought into play at the last election after the surge in Labour support will be targeted by the group, including Southport, Truro and Falmouth, and Uxbridge and South Ruislip.

Momentum will also hold national workshop hubs over the summer in London, Birmingham, and Manchester where the group will train more people to become trainers themselves and take their skills back to their constituency parties.

The overall programme is part of Labour’s continued permanent “war footing” – declared by the party after the closer than expected general election result.

Beth Foster-Ogg, Momentum’s training coordinator, said: “This election showed what a groundswell of ordinary people, knocking on doors and campaigning for the Labour Party can do.

“Now we want to skill up the hundreds of thousands of new Labour Party members so they can be better, more effective campaigners when the next election comes, and so they can campaign and organise in their communities outside of election time.

“If we are out talking to people, campaigning and making the Labour Party the heart our communities all year round, we will be ready to beat the Tories when this weak and unstable government inevitably calls another election.”

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