The ‘worrying truth’ about Momentum – according to Theresa May’s policy chief
George Freeman told the PM that Jeremy Corbyn’s activist army is ‘actually a middle-class movement’.
"The reform and renewal of the Conservative Party is now urgent,” says Downing Street policy board chair George Freeman in recent a letter to the prime minister, seen by The House magazine.
"As well as organisational renewal, we need political renewal: a strong clear signal that under your leadership the Conservative party will not become the soulless, technocratic managerial defenders of a divisive austerity Brexit, but the champions of a bold new generation unleashing a spirit of enterprise, energy and ambition," he adds.
The prime minister's policy board was wound down after the general election but Freeman is now trying to get it up and running again with more backbench representation. He remains in place as chairman of the Conservative Policy Forum.
Speaking to PoliticsHome, Freeman did not comment on his leaked letter to the prime minister, other than to stress that he hadn’t expected it to be leaked. Nevertheless he doubled down on the tone of his missive, warning that the Tories are at risk of looking like “a narrow party of nostalgia, hard Brexit, public sector austerity and lazy privilege”.
But it is not just the state of his own side that Freeman is worried about.
Also in his private letter to the prime minister, the senior Tory MP expressed his concern about the threat now posed by the Labour party – and specifically by Jeremy Corbyn’s army of activists.
He stated: "The worrying truth is that Momentum is actually a middle-class movement exploiting the alienation now felt by university graduates, the public sector, remainers and metropolitan voters.
"Worryingly, [Jon] Lansman and [John] McDonnell are now actively using new policy ‘workshops’ to widen their support to bring in powerful key single issue campaign and powerful voices in key sector like the arts, creative industries, disabilities, mental health and housing."
Picture by: Matt Crossick/Matt Crossick/Empics Entertainment.