The 2017 General Election showed a tabloid press that is “run by tax-dodging press barons” do not decide elections, Momentum national co-ordinator Laura Parker has said today.
Jeremy Corbyn has endured a number of high profile attacks from the right wing press of late, but rather than putting voters off the Labour leader they are actually driving people towards the party, according to new research.
A report published by Momentum claims the organisation added the most members in any four-day period since September 2017 over the last few weeks.
The surge in membership comes after the Sunday Times ran a splash headlined “Corbyn allies plot to oust 50 Labour MPs” and The Sun leaked allegations of links to communist spies.
According to Dan Sabbagh of the Guardian, it shows that the days of Labour wooing the right-wing press are over.
He said: “Tony Blair and Gordon Brown wooed the press, long maintaining personal relationships with Rupert Murdoch and Paul Dacre respectively, while in No 10.
“But personal attacks on Corbyn motivate the party’s supporters, particularly younger voters, who don’t read the Sun, Mail or Telegraph, and who don’t necessarily remember the cold war.”
Instead, most young voters take their news from social media, where Corbyn has significant dominance over the Conservatives.
Theresa May’s party recently hired “an army” of paid tweeters to take on Corbyn’s supporters on social media according to the Telegraph, highlighting where the battle is really won in today’s political market.
It is too soon to tell whether that will reap any dividends for May, but what is for sure is that the ability of the tabloid press to influence elections looks to be waning.
Momentum national co-ordinator Laura Parker said: “Labour’s extraordinary result in the last election showed that tabloids run by tax-dodging press barons do not decide elections.
“But the fact that attacks by the right wing press have actually increased support for Momentum shows how low they have sunk in the eyes of the public.
“Being hated by the Daily Mail has become a seal of approval and, for most people, their criticism is actually an endorsement.
“This is obviously a dire state of affairs, only made worse when the Sun and others engage in botched smear attempts such as the bogus Czech spy story this past week.
“We have a right to a free press which holds the powerful to account. This will never happen if so many papers are controlled by billionaire tax exiles, a problem Theresa May clearly has no desire to tackle.”