The Momentum organiser calling for street blockades against ‘Eton education millionaire Boris Johnson’ is a failed MEP candidate and former EU employee who has repeatedly argued that ‘personal attacks mean you’ve lost the argument’, MailOnline can reveal.
Laura Parker, 48, the national coordinator of the hard left organisation, joined the group following an 18-month stint as Jeremy Corbyn’s personal secretary, and before that worked for the European Commission.
Today she accused the Prime Minister of a coup and of ‘stealing democracy’, but just last year she told The Guardian: ‘In my experience, when people start talking about things as sinister or untoward, it’s because they didn’t go their way.’
This spring Laura Parker was parachuted in to a sought-after high position on a Labour list of MEP candidates, in a move which drew howls outrage from many in the party for being grossly undemocratic.
But she failed to win a seat in the European Parliament despite the back-office manoeuvring, rejected by the voters of London in a 13 per cent swing away from Labour.
She voted Remain in 2016, said she ‘never wanted to start’ Brexit, and wants to abandon and reverse Britain’s plans to leave the EU, possibly via a second referendum.
Tonight Momentum coordinator Laura Parker accused Boris Johnson of a ‘coup’ and of ‘stealing democracy’ whereas last year she said: ‘In my experience, when people start talking about things as sinister or untoward, it’s because they didn’t go their way’
The former EU Commission employee called Johnson an ‘Eton educated millionaire’ just one year on from criticising ad-hominem attacks as ‘the oldest trick in the book’ adding they were a case of ‘if you can’t defeat an argument, attack the individuals’
Today Ms Parker announced plans for her 40,000-strong group to bring the streets of the UK to a standstill in protest against Boris Johnson’s temporary suspension of Parliament which will hamstring MPs’ attempts to thwart the possibility of No Deal.
In an extraordinary escalation of Remainer anger Miss Parker vowed to join an occupation of the roads surrounding the Palace of Westminster, declaring: ‘Eton educated, millionaire Boris Johnson is stealing our democracy so he can sell off our NHS to big US corporations in a no deal, Trump first Brexit.
‘This is an establishment coup by a tiny, privileged elite who have been eroding our democracy for decades.
‘Real power doesn’t sit with the Queen or in parliament. It’s with us, the people – and that’s why we need to take action.’
She added: ‘There are thousands of us who will join an occupation of Parliament and block the roads before we let Johnson close the doors on democracy.
‘Today we’re going to contact all Momentum supporters and encourage them to protest, occupy and blockade on Saturday.
‘Our message to Johnson is this: if you steal our democracy, we’ll shut down the streets.’
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell addressing protestors gathered in Parliament Square last night, flanked by Dianne Abbot Kier Starmer and, left in white, Laura Parker
Ms Parker making good on her threat to take to the streets personally to protest Boris Johnson’s temporary prorogation of Parliament
Her broadsides against the Prime Minister and his allies do not sit well with her past utterances, many of which were issued when Momentum was attacked for alleged bullying tactics against centrist Labour MPs they were looking to unseat.
In March last year speaking about criticism of Momentum she told a Novara Media interviewer: ‘It’s the oldest trick in the political book. If you and I start having a scrap about something, or with your partner or my husband, at some point you start attacking the person you’re talking to because you know you’ve lost the argument.
‘There’s been a lot in the press recently about issues to do with one particular council – the argument was lost. And so people have retreated to the next level of defence which is personal attacks.’
Around the same time she told Buzzfeed News: ‘It’s a political attack, it’s the oldest trick in the book – if you can’t defeat an argument, attack the individuals, or in this case attack the organisation.’
And defending Momentum to the Guardian she said: ‘We call it deselection, what does that really mean? It means that Bill wanted to stand for election, again. And the members decided they’d had enough of Bill and they voted for Tom.
‘It’s called democracy. It’s being packaged up as something sinister.
‘But in my experience, when people start talking about things as sinister or untoward, it’s because they didn’t go their way.’
Local Labour campaigners rally outside Jacob Rees-Mogg’s constituency office in Midsomer Norton tonight after being moved on from the MP’s Somerset home by police
Mr Chalk – who is the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab – told his constituents the message sent out by suspending Parliament was ‘wrong’
Somerset Police confirmed officers were braced for a large presence outside Jacob Rees-Mogg’s constituency home this evening after plans of a protest circulated on social media
Ms Parker, the daughter of a university lecturer and a schoolteacher from Leeds, attended the same local comprehensive school as Tory MPs Liz Truss and Nick Gibb and then studied Latin American history and politics at Liverpool University where she was elected President of the guild of students.
She started her career in the British civil service before going to work for the EU Commission in Bulgaria, and spent several years working for children’s charities in the region.
She lives in a rented house in Clapham which she shares with a friend and told the Times she only sees her husband, an entrepreneur who lives in his native Italy, every few weeks when their schedules allow.
Tonight angry crowds of anti-Brexit protesters are targeting Conservative MPs at their constituency offices and homes after Ms Parker’s call to arms.
Dozens of demonstrators held a rally outside Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk’s office this afternoon, where they hounded the politician until he came out and tried to calm them down.
And police confirmed officers were braced for a large presence outside Jacob Rees-Mogg’s family home in Somerset after plans of a protest circulated on social media.