FORMER Labour councillor Phil Rosenberg’s collision course with Camden Momentum continues.
He has already puzzled aloud over which side some members of the left-wing group would have been on at the Battle of Cable Street in a letter to the CNJ which led to Camden Momentum’s acting chair Owen Holland responding with a counter-question as to how the Board of Deputies – for whom Mr Rosenberg is director of public affairs – had behaved during that historic confrontation. “The board discouraged people from turning out to oppose the fascists on the streets,” said Mr Holland.
The temperature was raised again on Saturday when the row jumped from the CNJ letters page to a national stage. In an article headed, ‘the price of criticising Momentum activists’, Mr Rosenberg told The Times’ Henry Zeffman that he had tried to act like a peacemaker by appearing at a meeting of Camden Momentum during the second Labour leadership contest. He was supporting Owen Smith and the gathering was surprised to see him. Mr Rosenberg said he gave a bridge-building speech, but was told he’d have to go afterwards.
‘When my time was up I was ushered out,” he said “One lady got up and said ‘I didn’t join Momentum of this, this is disgusting the way you’ve treated this man, I’m never coming back’ and followed me out. Another person called me a ‘fucking cunt snake in the grass’. They kicked me out and let her stay so one has to draw their own conclusions.”
Accounts of this meeting differ, unsurprisingly, and Momentum members say it was all far more polite than this.