Jon Lansman, the founder of the left-wing grassroots organisation Momentum, has been short-listed for a position on the Labour Party’s governing body, the national executive committee (NEC).
Mr Lansman, an ex-kibbutznik who was instrumental in helping Jeremy Corbyn become party leader, is the nominee for the Momentum slate in forthcoming elections for three new places on the NEC, meaning he is almost certain to be elected.
The move will signal a further strengthening of the left-wing’s grip on Labour with Mr Lansman long campaigning for more grassroots representation in the party with ordinary members having greater influcence over policy and the selection of candidates.
But Mr Lansman has also been willing to speak out on Labour’s continued antisemitism crisis, hitting back at comments by Unite general secretary Len McCluskey and film director Ken Loach during last month’s Labour conference claiming the problem was merely “mood music” in the party.
In an interview on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show last month Mr Lansman said: “You have to be a Jew to actually experience antisemitism. I have experienced antisemitism, my children who are only half Jewish have experienced it. “
Remaining a close ally of Mr Corbyn’s, Mr Lansman, who told the JC in 2016 he was brought up in a “typical Orthodox family” in Southgate, north London, had previously worked for left-wing Labour Cabinet member Tony Benn in the 1980s.
Mr Lansman also argued there is no reason why Zionist Labour supporters cannot find a place in the Corbyn-led Labour Party.
He said: "I have Zionist friends in the party. Jeremy supports the existence of Israel, he wants peace and co-existence. Why should Israel supporters not have a place in Labour? Of course they should. I've been arguing for two states long before it was acceptable within the Jewish community to argue for two states.”
If he wins the place on the NEC, Mr Lansman will join Jewish representative Rhea Wolfson on Labour’s governing body.