‘Corbynism is very much not dead’ – Sir Keir Starmer fails to loosen left-winger grip on NEC

Sir Keir Starmer failed to loosen Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) from the grip of left-wingers on Friday night, following better-than-expected results for Momentum-backed candidates.

Five of the nine constituency representatives elected to the NEC were from the left of the party, with Laura Pidock, the former MP once pushed as a potential successor to Jeremy Corbyn, one of those to gain a seat.

Labour’s left-leaning “Grassroots Voice” group also secured the youth and disabled representative posts.

Momentum hailed the results as a “major victory for the left”.

A spokesman said: “These results are a huge victory for the socialist left. Grassroots Voice is by far the single largest slate in the members section of the NEC.

“Members want Labour to back a transformative, socialist programme – and that is exactly what these representatives will fight for.”

One prominent Labour figure from the left said that the result would “send a message” to Sir Keir.

“This shows that Corbynism is very much not dead. We didn’t come this far to just scuttle of and lead the way for a return to blue Labour,” he said.

Senior Labour figures had previously warned that the elections would be “vital” to enable the party to effectively tackle anti-Semitism, following a damning report from the Equality and Human Rights Commissions (EHRC).

Former Labour MP Ruth Smeeth said: “This isn’t an internal factional issue – this is about making sure we are fit for purpose and the scourge of anti-Semitism is removed from the party at every level.

“It’s vital for the future of the Labour Party that Keir has an NEC he can work with to deliver not only the changes to the complaints process which the EHRC is likely to require, but also so he can get to grips with party culture from the ground up.”

However, Sir Keir can take some solace in the election of three candidates who stood on the pro-leadership “Labour to Win” platform, as well as the success of “soft left” Ann Black.

The results of the votes were delayed by almost six after an influx of former Labour members attempted to participate in the election.