Jon Lansman, Yasmine Dar and Rachel Garnham - The hard-left trio who have given Jeremy Corbyn an iron grip on Labour

Jon Lansman, Yasmine Dar and Rachel Garnham - The controversial trio with seats on Labour's NEC

​Jon Lansman is the founder of Momentum

Monday, January 15, 2018

Jeremy Corbyn's hold on the Labour Party is said to have increased after the appointment of three hard-left candidates to the party's ruling NEC, but who are the seemingly influential trio?

Jon Lansman, Yasmine Dar and Rachel Garnham emerged victorious from a field of nine candidates, even beating comedian Eddie Izzard. They'll have a large say on the direction the party now takes and have also given Corbyn a majority on the ruling council. 

Here's a factfile on the background of the hard-left trio - and what they stand for.

Jon Lansman

One of Jeremy Corbyn's key allies, he is said to have been a key figure for the hard left for the past 40 years. He's the founder of the group Momentum, the pro-Corbyn pressure group which has been accused of plotting the de-selection of moderate MPs. 

He said his election onto the NEC is a "victory for 21st Century socialism" and before the result was announced he told the BBC that if he won it would mean the "dream of a members-led Labour Party" was a little closer.

Whilst at Cambridge University he was involved in student politics however never won an election himself. After this he worked unpaid on left-winger Tony Benn's campaign to become the deputy leader of Labour in 1981. However he hit the headlines himself when former deputy leader Denis Healey, a more moderate figure within the party, claimed Lansman called upon far-left protestors to disrupt his speech.

This was proven to be baseless, as Lansman had been in Wales whilst Healey was in Birmingham. Nonetheless it led to articles about Lansman's public school education and "silver spoon life", with critics suggesting he was a champagne socialist.

He then stepped out of the public eye for a while until he became an aide to Labour MP Michael Meacher. After Meacher's death in 2015, Lansman helped Corbyn gain leadership of the Labour Party.

The Observer obtained a tape in March last year which is said to have featured Lansman, calling on supporters of Momentum to ensure the left is well represented in key Labour positions - with the aim of prolonging the socialist grip on the Labour party. He also allegedly said that if Len McCluskey became the general secretary of Unite it would affiliate with Momentum. This was seen as an attempt to bring power to left-leaning Corbynistas.

Lansman is himself Jewish and so of course has spoken about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. He's admitted the problem exists and actually claims there are three “categories” of it within the party and it must “stamp it out."

In April 2016, when Ken Livingstone was suspended from Labour for comments on Hitler, Lansman said in a tweet that "a period of silence from Ken Livingstone is overdue" and called for him to leave "politics altogether."

Yasmine Dar

Dar has only been a member for around five years however she says she's been an activist for much longer. She is currently a representative on Manchester City Council but previously worked as a multi-faith prison chaplain and social worker.

She claims it is this work which has helped "inform" her socialism and contribute to her political views. She claims to have faced "strong challenges" from both Ukip and the BNP as she is Asian.

Dar has claimed Corbyn's leadership is to be "celebrated and embraced" because he has inspired people to back Labour, however she still wants to ensure the party is democratic, fair and transparent.

Whilst you may not have heard of her, she has been in the news before as last year Guido Fawkes claimed she attended a Khomeinist rally backing the Iranian regime. She allegedly spoke alongside Labour member Afzal Khan and economist Professor Rodney Shakespeare.

It is reported that she said it's an "absolute honour" to attend the event and that it was "a happy time, 38 years of the Iranian Islamic revolution so I’m absolutely happy."

Rachel Garnham

During her time as a Labour Party activist in Mid-Bedfordshire she's held many positions. She has spent almost 10 years as a Constituency Labour Party (CLP) Secretary and is the National Policy Forum CLP representative for the Eastern region.

Garnham first joined the Labour Party at the age of 18 and is also a member of the University College Union. The woman claims being a member of the Labour Party keeps her "grounded and in touch."

When running for a place on the NEC, she said she supports Corbyn's agenda against war, racism and austerity. Garnham also said she wanted to be a voice for grassroots members but also ensure a Labour win at a general election.

She claimed she was standing for a "transformative, democratic socialist, election-winning Labour Party." Whilst announcing her support for the Labour leader Garnham said she wants the manifesto he put forward in the last general election to be improved on so it can allow more investment in growth, re-nationalisation, fight against inequality and poverty and tackle climate change and world peace.

Much like Lansman she said she wanted to strengthen the voice of Labour's members, and she also called for support for both him and Yasmine Dar.

She has also used social media to criticise Toby Young, retweeting several message criticising the right-wing journalist prior to his resignation from the Office for Students last week.