Summary of constitution
Why was the constitution adopted?
Operations and staffing Q&A
- Flow charts explainer
1. Summary of the Constitution
The constitution requires all new Momentum members to be Labour Party members. New members who join Momentum must be members of the Labour Party. Existing Momentum members, who are currently paying Momentum membership fees, who are not members of Labour, can join the Party by 1 July.
Momentum members who have been suspended from Labour, but not expelled, will remain members of Momentum. Momentum members who believe they have been expelled from the Labour Party unfairly, along with individuals about whom membership decisions are taken, have the right to a hearing by Momentum's National Coordinating Group.
Supporters of Momentum who are not members, can participate in campaigns and activities organised by a local group, network or Momentum nationally, but cannot hold a position within Momentum, vote in elections or hold other membership rights.
How key decisions are made:
Under this constitution decisions can be made either by the National Coordinating Group (NCG) which includes representatives of members, affiliates and Labour public office holders, or by ordinary members through a digital democracy process. This aims to achieve a broad and representative group to regularly meet and discuss the needs of the organisation while maintaining the membership as the ultimate decision makers on key issues. The NCG is also overseen by a Members’ Council consisting of 50 members randomly chosen by lot.
1) National Coordinating Group (NCG):
The National Coordinating Group will comprise:
- 12 members, four from each of three divisions (a) North and Scotland, (b) the Midlands, Wales and the West, (c) the South East. At least two of the members elected from each division should be women, and at least one should self-identify as BAME (black, Asian, ethnic minority).
- 4 Momentum members who are Labour public officer holders (of the UK, European or Scottish Parliaments, Welsh or London Assemblies, Elected Mayors or Police Commissioners, or Labour members of a British local authority).
- 6 members nominated by affiliated trade unions
- 4 members nominated by other affiliated organisations
If the 12 members who are elected do not include one person who self-identifies as disabled, one person who self-identifies as LGBT+ and two young persons under 30, then up to 4 more places will be elected to ensure these groups are represented.
All members can stand and vote in elections for positions on the NCG. Elections to the NCG will take place online or by other accessible means, with each member having a vote. Please find details of the election process and timetable here.
The constitution stipulates that the NCG should facilitate self-organisation for members of liberation groups within Momentum - LGBT+, disabled, women and black Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) - and campaign for increased representation for liberation groups within the Labour Party. The NCG must ensure that Momentum liberation networks have the support to organise campaigns and are able to advise and make recommendations to the NCG.
2) Members Council:
So that members can directly participate in developing the activities, resources and campaigns of Momentum, a Members’ Council will be chosen randomly by lot every 6 months. The goal is for the ideas, inspiration and innovation of Momentum’s activities to come from the grassroots, and be as responsive to members’ needs as possible. The first Members’ Council will be drawn soon after the NCG has been convened.
3) Digital Democracy Platform:
Momentum will provide a digital democracy platform to ensure that all members are empowered to initiate and vote on campaign priorities, constitutional amendments or overturning decisions by the NCG. All members will be able to vote online with each member having a vote. Any members who are unable to vote online can contact the National Office to vote via other accessible means.
2. Why was the constitution adopted?
The results of the survey sent to Momentum members show that there is a widespread consensus about the type of organisation members want - a grassroots, campaigning political movement that can help Labour win power on a transformative platform. 40.35% of members responded to the survey. Campaigning for Labour victories and helping members become more active in the Labour Party were the most popular options for Momentum’s priorities in 2017, chosen by 71.71% and 68.23% of respondents respectively.
80.60% of respondents said that key decisions should be taken by One Member One Vote, rather than by delegates at regional and national conferences and committees (12.50%). 79.29% of respondents said all members should have a say in electing their representatives, as opposed to national representatives being elected by delegates from local groups (16.16%).
Following this decisive response, the Steering Committee voted to introduce the constitution for Momentum to deliver the kind of action-focussed, campaigning, Labour-focussed organisation our members have said they want. The constitution puts decision making power in the hands of members with direct democracy and OMOV elections central to the organisation.
3. Democracy Q&A
How can the constitution be changed?
A member of the NCG can propose an amendment to the constitution or members bring a petition proposing an amendment to constitution with the support of 5% of members or 1,000 members.
The NCG will consider the proposed amendment. If the NCG unanimously agrees to the amendment it will be adopted. If the NCG passes the amendment, but not unanimously, it will go to a one member one vote (OMOV) online ballot and will pass with 50% of votes casts. If the NCG rejects the proposal, members can bring a petition signed by 10% of membership, which will trigger a vote among all members online or by other accessible means. An amendment will then be adopted with the support of at least 50% of votes cast in an OMOV ballot of the membership and at least 30% of those members eligible to vote.
How can members vote on campaign priorities?
A proposal on Momentum’s campaign priorities can be made by a member of the NCG, or by members’ bringing a petition with the support of 5% of members or 1,000 members.
The NCG considers the proposal. If the NCG approves the proposal, it will be adopted. If the NCG rejects the proposal, but a petition is brought with support of 10% of the membership, then the proposal will go to a vote among all members, via one member one vote online or by other accessible means. A campaign priority will then be adopted where at least 50% of votes cast in an OMOV ballot of the membership where at least 30% of those members eligible to vote.
How can other key decisions be taken to a vote by members?
If a member wants to challenge a decision by the NCG in relation to guidance or directives issued to members, groups or networks, a petition can be brought signed by 10% of the membership. This will take the decision to a vote among all members via one member one vote online or by other accessible means. The decision will be overturned where at least 50% of votes cast in an OMOV ballot of the membership where at least 30% of members eligible to vote are in favour of doing so. Additional proposals to the NCG can be made by the Members’ Council.
Moreover, a majority of the NCG can vote for any decision to go to an OMOV ballot of all members.
What does this mean for my local group or network?
It is hoped that your local group or network is able to continue as usual within the framework of Momentum’s constitution. The constitution is intended to bring clarity to Momentum’s purpose, goals and organisation, improve transparency and reduce internal bureaucracy. Therefore, there will be more time, energy and resources directed at supporting local organising, activity and campaigns.
4. Membership Q&A
The constitution requires all new Momentum members to be Labour Party members. New members who join Momentum must be members of the Labour Party.
If you are a Momentum member but not a member of Labour, you can join the Party by 1 July. Momentum members who have been suspended from Labour, but not expelled, will remain members of Momentum.
Who can be a member?
Membership is open to anyone who:
- Is 14 or over
- Is a member of the Labour Party and no other political party nor an organisation disallowed by National Coordination Group
- Agrees to be bound by the rules of Momentum, including its code of ethics
What do I do if I am not a Labour member?
In order for Momentum to achieve its aims of helping Labour become a transformative and socialist party of government, Momentum is aiming to affiliate to the Labour Party. New members of Momentum must be members of Labour to join Momentum. Existing Momentum members are being encouraged to join Labour by 1 July if they are not a member already. You can join Labour here.
What do I do if I was suspended from Labour or if I was rejected as a Supporter?
Momentum members who have been suspended from Labour, but not expelled, will remain members of Momentum.
If you have been suspended from the Labour Party you can appeal your suspension. To appeal, email firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com or call 0345 092 2299.
If you have previously applied to be an Affiliated or Registered Supporter of the Labour Party and your application was rejected, you cannot appeal. However, this does not preclude you from applying to become a full member of the Party now. We encourage all Momentum members to join Labour as a full member. You can join here.
If you have been expelled from the Labour Party or were prevented from joining, you may be deemed to have resigned from Momentum. Momentum members who believe they have been expelled from the Labour Party unfairly, along with all individuals about whom membership decisions are taken, have the right to a hearing by Momentum's National Coordinating Group.
Supporters of Momentum who are not members can participate in campaigns and activities organised by a local group, network or Momentum nationally, but cannot hold a position within Momentum, vote in elections or hold other membership rights.
If you are not able to be a member of Momentum, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need to change the name of a key contact or position holder in your group, please fill in the group verification form with the new details.
How do I cancel my membership?
To cancel your membership, you can email email@example.com.