Tom Watson warns failed plot to oust him could damage Labours election chances
A civil raging at the top of the Labour Party could stop voters seeing them as a credible alternative government, deputy leader Tom Watson has warned.
It comes after he described an attempt to oust him on the eve of the party conference as a drive-by shooting.
The plot to scrap his elected position was abandoned today after an intervention by Jeremy Corbyn, who has clashed with Watson on many occasions.
The scheme was spearheaded by Jon Lansman, head of the Corbyn-supporting Momentum group.
Met by cheering supporters as he arrived at Brighton station this afternoon for the first day of the conference, Watson was scathing about Lansman.
He said: I think it says there are some people who dont think clear-headedly, who risk us having a transformative government by playing sectarian games.
I put Jon Lansman in that category and I think its very sad because I think he has undermined himself and the members of his organisation, many of whom have been in touch with me today and said they were not consulted when he did that and they were very disappointed with him personally.
But thats politics, Ive been around a long time and I want us to reunite now.
Watson was the target of an ambush at the Labour National Executive Committee (NEC) on Friday night, at which he was not present due to family commitments.
Although a surprise effort to abolish the post of deputy was ruled out of order by chair Wendy Nichols, those present voted by 17-10 to debate it anyway – just short of the two-thirds majority required under party rules.
The motion was due to be debated at this mornings meeting of the NEC, just hours before the official start of a party conference, which was supposed to be focused on preparing for a looming election.
Watsons position will now instead by subject to a review after the intervention from Corbyn, who refused refused to say when he first new about the plot or if he had confidence in his deputy.
Instead he told reporters: Tom Watson is the deputy leader of the party and I enjoy working with him.
The NEC agreed this morning that we are going to consult on the future of diversifying the deputy leadership position to reflect the diversity of our society.
Corbyn said there was happy and united mood at the NEC and the conference will be totally united on defeating this Tory Government.
Watson said he had no idea what Jeremy knew or didnt know.
He added: Both of us would want to reunite the conference after what has been, frankly, quite a ridiculous start to it and totally unnecessary.
Former Labour leader Ed Miliband said those responsible for trying to oust Mr Watson had taken leave of their senses.
Other MPs were not so diplomatic, with Yvette Cooper describing the move as completely mad and Ben Bradshaw branding it totally f** insane.
After theRead More – Source