HOW A VOTE FOR SADIQ 'WILL AID CORBYN' TORY TAUNT AS WE REVEAL PLOT BY LABOUR LEADER'S HARD-LEFT BACKERSexclusiveMomentum Activists Back Khan to Bolster Labour leaderRACE FOR CITY HALL May 5

The Evening Standard (London, England), March 31, 2016 | Go to article overview

HOW A VOTE FOR SADIQ 'WILL AID CORBYN' TORY TAUNT AS WE REVEAL PLOT BY LABOUR LEADER'S HARD-LEFT BACKERSexclusiveMomentum Activists Back Khan to Bolster Labour leaderRACE FOR CITY HALL May 5


Byline: Joe Murphy Political Editor

SADIQ KHAN'S bid to be London Mayor was dealt a blow today as hard-Left activists admitted backing him to "strengthen" Jeremy Corbyn.

The Standard can reveal that leaders of the controversial Momentum group told activists to support the Labour candidate because defeat in London on May 5 would "undermine" his party's leader. Tories seized on the revelation by taunting: "Vote Khan, Get Corbyn."

The revelation is a setback to the Tooting MP's efforts to distance himself from Mr Corbyn. His office has repeatedly insisted that "Jeremy's name is not on the ticket" and helpers chose not to knock on doors with Mr Corbyn while campaigning in the party leader's Islington North seat on Easter Saturday.

But Momentum founder Jon Lansman, a senior Corbyn supporter, made clear in last week's meeting at the launch of a group branch in Enfield that the mayoral result was significant to the Labour leader's future. Mr Lansman, a veteran Left-wing fixer, freely admitted that Mr Khan was not the Left's "first choice" for Mayor but it was a "no-brainer" to back him in order to bolster Mr Corbyn.

"We've got to go out and campaign for Sadiq Khan," said Mr Lansman, who directed last year's triumphant Corbyn leadership campaign. "Now he might have been your first choice, he might not have -- I don't know. That's actually at this point not the point.

"The point is that there's a choice in May between a Tory and Sadiq Khan. Who do you want to win? It's a nobrainer. We want the Labour candidate to win and we want a candidate who's going to ensure that Jeremy is strengthened by the London result."

Chris Ford, the Momentum organiser in Waltham Forest who has links with Mr Corbyn's leadership office, told the 22-strong gathering: "If we lose in London, if we get hammered in May's elections, we're assisting in undermining Jeremy Corbyn. We need to win."

Another speaker, North London People's Assembly chair Elaine Graham-Leigh, urged: "One thing that will really help get Sadiq elected is actually again if we have a really enormous demonstration in London against austerity." Three days after the meeting Momentum tweeted that its members were running a phone bank at Mr Khan's campaign headquarters located at the TSSA trade union headquarters. …

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HOW A VOTE FOR SADIQ 'WILL AID CORBYN' TORY TAUNT AS WE REVEAL PLOT BY LABOUR LEADER'S HARD-LEFT BACKERSexclusiveMomentum Activists Back Khan to Bolster Labour leaderRACE FOR CITY HALL May 5
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