The left-wing campaign group are teaming up with Owen Jones to go after some of the most marginal Conservative seats - and the nastiest of the Nasty Party.
Boris Johnson misled voters to pull us out of the EU. Amber Rudd rushed through the Snooper’s Charter. And Iain Duncan Smith – well, where do we begin…
These are just three of eight Tories being targeted in a new Momentum campaign to kick out Conservative MPs who previously thought their seats were safe. After June 5th – they’re no longer sitting pretty.
The left-wing Labour group are teaming up with journalist Owen Jones to hold mass canvassing sessions, in an effort to create ‘Portillo moments’ for prominent Tory MPs at the next election – which let’s face it, could be anytime.
The #Unseat campaign will also go after some of the nastiest of the Nasty Party, including Philip Davies: a man who consistently tries to filibuster attempts to, for example, end violence against women, who once said that disabled people should work for less than the minimum wage, and who opposes LGBTI+ equality.
And then there’s Stephen Crabb, who has been linked to an organisation advocating that homosexuality and bisexuality could be “cured”, and whose voting record makes a mockery of claims to be some kind of working-class champion.
Here is the full list of seats:
- Justine Greening in Putney – majority reduced from 10,180 to 1554
- Philip Davies in Shipley – majority reduced from 9624 to 4681
- Grant Shapps in Welwyn Hatfield – majority reduced from 12153 to 7369
- Anna Soubry in Broxtowe – majority reduced from 4287 to 863
- Amber Rudd in Hastings and Rye – majority reduced from 4796 to 346
- Boris Johnson in Uxbridge & Ruislip – majority reduced from 10695 to 5034
- Iain Duncan Smith in Chingford & Woodford Green – majority reduced from 8386 to 2438
- Stephen Crabb in Preseli Pembrokeshire – majority reduced from 4969 to 314
The #Unseat campaign days, starting in September, will draw on skills and activists from the Bernie Sanders campaign.
Famous Labour backers and Shadow Cabinet Ministers are expected to attend.
Joseph Ejiofor, a member of Momentum’s National Coordinating Group, 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…
“We helped create a ‘Portillo moment’ for Nick Clegg in Sheffield Hallam in June, and we plan to do the same for senior Conservative MPs next time around.”
Owen Jones, Author and Journalist, added:
“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.”
The first #Unseat campaign day will take place in Justine Greening’s Putney seat on the 2nd September – an MP whose majority fell from 10,180 in 2015 to 1554 in 2017.
Jeremy Corbyn has been touring Tory marginals since the election, and this campaign gives a fresh push to that effort.
With a wafer-thin majority, the Conservatives have reason to worry about this latest plan…
Find out more about the campaign here: Unseat.co.uk
Josiah Mortimer is Editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.