An evening with Momentum at the Labour Party conference


I VENTURED into Momentum’s “A World Transformed” jamboree—a sort of parallel conference running alongside the main Labour Party conference—with some nervousness. Momentum has a reputation for playing hardball: they were responsible for making sure that Brexit wasn’t really discussed at the conference, for example. The meeting has seen a lot of journalist-bashing: Laura Kuenssberg, the BBC’s political editor, is accompanied by a bodyguard and any mention of the press elicits jeers. “A World Transformed” is held in an off-putting warren of rooms: a makeshift “hub”, where people gather to chat and organise, a cavernous night club, where meetings are held, and other rooms that looked too frightening to enter.

But I was immediately made to feel at home. A charming woman called Hilary Wainwright took me under her wing and introduced me to the staff. (It turned out that Ms Wainwright is the aunt of The Economist’s Britain editor, Tom Wainwright, but that the meeting was a pure coincidence.) The young organisers were all unfailingly polite. The atmosphere was rather like a pop festival (though one with an unusually large contingent of older people): people were relaxed but efficient, solicitous but business-like.

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