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In Conversation With Steve Allen 5am - 7am
4 March 2017, 10:01
Here Jon Lansman, founder of pro-Corbyn organisation Momentum, tells Andrew Castle that the drop in Labour membership is normal.
The pro-Corbyn political activist spoke to Andrew Castle following reports that Labour's membership has dropped by 26,000 since last Summer.
The Momentum founder told Andrew that the drop in membership is normal, and that the party still remains the biggest in Europe.
He told Andrew: "The Labour party is bigger than it's ever been...the biggest party in Western Europe. When you have such a big increase, it's actually not surprising that we've had more people leaving, because actually it's perfectly normal for 20 per cent of new joiners to leave in their first year, well actually we've had less than that."
He went on: "I certainly don't think you should assume that the people who are leaving are leaving because they're fed up or, you know, have changed their mind about Jeremy Corbyn.
"Some, of course, who have left may well be people who didn't agree with Jeremy in the first place, maybe they've left because actually they opposed Jeremy.
"And I think even some of those...still support Jeremy, still support him, it's just they don't particularly want to be an active member of the Labour Party."
He added: "Actually we'd alienated under New Labour, unfortunately, a lot of our core voters. You know we lost Scotland, Labour's strongest heartland, completely, and that was before Jeremy.
"Jeremy had nothing to do with that at all, it was under Ed Miliband's leadership, and even he could not, I think, be blamed for the loss of Scotland.
"I think that we have, over time, over the last 15 years, maybe even longer, gradually alienated more of our core voters, and that is the essence of the problem.
"People felt that we've left our traditional voters behind and we've seen many of them turn to Ukip in England, to the SNP in Scotland, and so it's a long run decline that we've been facing, and we've got to present a new face."