Jeremy Corbyn's leadership campaign has been relaunched as a new left-wing activist network called Momentum, which will be run in parallel to the Labour party with the objective of engaging Corbyn supporters in ongoing political campaigns.
The organisation said it would fight to "transform the Labour party into a more democratic party with the policies and collective will to make that change" through "rallies and the encouragement of mass mobilisation".
As a result the organisation will be able to call on the support of many of the 15,000 volunteers across the country who worked on the successful leadership bid, in addition to tens of thousands of Corbyn supporters who asked to stay in touch when the official campaign ended.
The Labour leader has given his backing to the group but it will remain officially independent of the party. Two staff at Labour HQ told BuzzFeed News they first heard about the organisation at the same time as journalists.
In the short term the organisation hopes to host meetings, events, and rallies for people engaged by Corbyn's politics. Members of Momentum, which is being run by an interim committee of volunteers, believe their activist model could then provide the basis for a new form of politics if Corbyn wins the 2020 general election.
"We'd hope to demonstrate through getting organised we can get good outcomes," a spokesperson for the campaign told BuzzFeed News. "By helping people to get organised and using the principles of collective co-operation and solidarity we hope to show – on a micro scale – how Labour if they got into government could transform the county and society on a massive scale."
It will also form organisations along geographic lines or on issues that will enable the left-wing movement to "deliver things now" with the Conservatives set to remain in government for another four years. One of the first proposals is to create a Momentum-aligned campaign group for the rights of private-sector tenants which would provide legal advice and help people get back their deposits.
Momentum also explained the decision to organise outside the existing Labour party structure, a move which has concerned some centrist Labour MPs who fear the organisation could be used as a vehicle to deselect them.
The spokesperson insisted the movement must be kept open to people who didn't want to join the party and said it had more in common with the grassroots pro-independence movement in Scotland and this summer's anti-bailout campaign in Greece.
"CLPs [constituency Labour parties] tend to be focused on campaigning and that's extremely important," the spokesperson said. "But electoral campaigning is not the only way people do politics, that's not the only part of the new politics. We want to get Corbyn elected but we also want to build broader participation in politics. "
Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Jim Waterson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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