Tom Watson's claim that the Labour Party is at risk of being taken over by hard-left "Trotsky entryists" have been dismissed as an "attempt to summon up a bogeyman that doesn't rreflect reality" by supporters of current leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Watson, Labour's deputy leader, has described Corbyn's supporters as "twisting the arms" of young members, suggesting that they "don't have the best interests of the party at heart".
But Michael Chessum, from Momentum, a left-wing group committed to supporting Corbyn, told talkRADIO's Sam Delaney that Watson's comments showed that elements within the party were running scared of change.
"I think [his] comments were disappointing, although they're not as hostile as some are making out," he said, in a fiery interview.
"This idea that everyone's an arm-twisting Trotskyite is really an attempt to summon up a bit of a bogey man that doesn't reflect reality.
"Within the old Labour establishment there are people who are genuinely scared of the growth of membership and the shift in the party's politics, because [they feel] it's a threat not just to the status quo of society, but their own position as well."
Listen to the full interview to find out more