David Skuzbee recalls:
“I first met (Rachael Harris, the founder of Birmingham Momentum) over the summer; she was one of the hardest workers in my phone banking team for the Jeremy Corbyn for Labour Leader campaign, often working from home due to the limited hours we had at the Unite Union offices.
“In launching the Birmingham Momentum group, Harris (right) has taken on a leadership role, as well as a great deal of responsibility. She doesn’t see herself as a natural leader, stressing, “I put myself forward because nobody else seemed to.”
“I point out that people often say the same of Corbyn: that he accepted he had to run for leadership in order for his values to be represented, rather than out of a desire for power and prestige. While she is the leader, she says she wants, “everybody to take an important and active role and for everybody to feel equally valued”, echoing the ethos of Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour party.
“Harris reflects, “Birmingham is not known as a politically active city” in the way others are, but over the summer she has seen a significant number of people engaging enthusiastically, thanks to Corbyn, and wants to, “harness that energy to give the people of Birmingham a voice and a chance to campaign on issues which matter to them”.
Skuzbee described Momentum as the grassroots network stemming from Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership campaign: “In the summer of 2015, the campaign to elect Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour party rapidly became far larger than the future Labour leader would ever have expected. Corbyn had made it clear early on that he wanted the campaign to become a bigger movement at a grassroots level: transforming the Labour Party from a top-down organisation to a bottom-up political party”.