The former Maccabi cricketer leading the fightback in Labour against Momentum

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The former Maccabi cricketer leading the fightback in Labour against Momentum

Lloyd Duddridge, national organiser of the pro-Keir Starmer Labour To Win group and ex Chigwell and Hainault batsman, says one of the reasons he took up the political role was 'I needed to play my part in fighting the stain of antisemitism in Labour'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Lloyd Duddridge is captured on BBC News leafleting delegates at this year's Labour conference in Liverpool
Lloyd Duddridge is captured on BBC News leafleting delegates at this year's Labour conference in Liverpool

A Jewish councillor, who previously played Maccabi League cricket for Chigwell and Hainault, is at the centre of the fightback against the pro-Jeremy Corbyn Momentum organisation in the Labour Party.

Lloyd Duddridge, a former King Solomon High pupil, was being praised by Labour colleagues this week for his role in ensuring the hard-left Momentum faction suffered a resounding defeat in pushing forward their policies at the annual party conference in Liverpool.

Duddridge, 34, took on the role of national organiser of the Labour To Win grouping within the party five years ago telling Jewish News:”One of the reasons I took on the role was that I needed to play my part in fighting the stain of antisemitism in Labour.

“For five years it was hard work. But I knew there were two options – I either quit the party, or I stayed to fight. I choose the later one. I hope people will agree now it was worth it.”

Lloyd Duddridge out campaigning with MP Wes Streeting, Sadiq Khan, Redbridge Council leader Jas Athwal and deputy leader Kam Rai, and Cllr Rosa Gomez

Founded out of a merger of the old Progress and Labour First groups, Labour To Win aims to represent the party’s progressive, but moderate members, and has been at the centre of supporting Keir Starmer as leader since he was elected leader in April 2020.

Wes Streeting, shadow health secretary, Bridget Phillipson, who hold the shadow education brief, and Jes Phillips, shadow domestic violence, are also amongst the group’s staunchest supporters.

At a packed Labour To Win rally at this year’s conference Streeting drew loud cheers as he told supports “we have won the party – now let’s win the country!”

“Our job is to fight to give Keir the space to be the leader he wants to be,” explains Duddridge.

“Unlike Corbyn, Keir is somebody who is not openly factional himself. But he will always have our support.”

One of Labour To Win’s major achievements at this year’s conference was to organise and win the decision taken by delegates over the priorities ballot – which determines which six policy issues are discussed and voted on at the annual gathering.

Luke Akehurst, who sits on Labour’s national executive committee, who topped  the vote amongst party members in internal elections earlier this year, is also a co-director of Labour To Win.

Akehurst have been one of Corbyn’s most outspoken critics, and has always been a staunch ally of the community.

In previous years Momentum have successfully pushed through hard-line motions included one-sided motions condemning only Israel in the conflict with the Palestinians.

But with impressive organisation amongst supporters ahead of this week’s annual conference Labour To Win won all six motions, including a reaffirmation of Labour’s commitment to a two-state solution, with a secure Israel and viable Palestinian state.

Duddridge, a Labour councillor in Redbridge, says that even during Labour’s high years under the leadership of Tony Blair and under Gordon Brown, domination of the priorities ballot was not secured by the moderate faction of the party.

“We organise for the mainstream, moderate tradition of the Labour Party, the tradition that wants to support Keir and see him excel,” he added.

“We also work with Labour to ensure that on issues like the Middle East, our policy is not one-sided, is pro-peace, and that we work with our allies in Israel.”

Despite this year’s success at conference, Duddridge is not claiming the battle against Momentum is over, and urges those who wish to support his grouping within the party to join up through their website.

“Momentum is still there,” he warns. “The hard-left are a strain within politics in the same way the hard-right in the Conservative Party are.

“We need to make sure we are always on top. It is still worth baring in mind that Momentum have more money, more staff and have more data than us.

“We are punching above our weight.”

Duddridge, a Spurs fan, laughs as he recalls his three seasons playing in the Jewish cricket leagues as an opening batsman for Chigwall and Hainault.

“I was a stodgy opening batsman,” he says. “It’s fair to say my political organisational skills might be a bit more inspired.”




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