Tom Watson Standing Down

Watson has just tweeted “After 35 years in full-time politics, I’ve decided to step down and will be campaigning to overcome the Tory-fuelled public health crisis. I’m as committed to Labour as ever. I will spend this election fighting for brilliant Labour candidates and a better future for our country.” Guido had heard rumours that he wants to become a media performer like Nigel Farage. Tom has a book on “Downsizing” coming out soon and the last couple of times Guido has seen him he has shared weight loss tips! Whatever his future, his fight against the far-left is over…

One thing is for sure, if Tom Watson thought Labour was about to become the party of government, Guido doubts he would be stepping down. He is a very astute analyst of political power.

McDonnell Confirms He and Corbyn Will Resign if they Lose Another Election

In an interview with Alastair Campbell, John McDonnell has confirmed he and Corbyn will quit leading the Labour Party if they lose another election. Now all that remains is to make them realise this time round that coming 56 seats behind the Tories doesn’t count as a victory…

McDonnell may not even have to wait for an election defeat, however, as this morning it was learnt he may be shifting to backing Tom Watson’s plan of holding a referendum before an election; and in retaliation, some of Labour’s most hardcore membership are already briefing against himThe state of the Labour Party in 2019: where John McDonnell is being called a Blairite…

UPDATE: Shadow Cabinet member John Trickett appears to have joined in the pile on, having replied to the hard left anti-McDonnell video gaining traction on Twitter noting it’s popularity. Not as supportive as McDonnell would have wished for…

H/T @Kevin Schofield who spotted the quickly-deleted Tweet…

Watson’s Office Door Sign Nicked

Potentially annoyed at the failure of the attempted coup against the party’s deputy leader on the eve of their conference, some mischievious Parliamentary passholder has removed the name sign on Tom Watson’s office. Guido isn’t saying he endorses retaliatory measures by Blairites against Jeremy Corbyn, but a name-pinching factional battle would no doubt be more entertaining than the deselection express

‘Spontaneous’ Support for the Deputy Leader

It is great to see that the New Labour traditions of photo-op manangement have not died in the Labour Party. This spontaneous out-pouring of support for Tom Watson and chanting of “Tom, Tom, Tom” is heartwarming. The National Organisation of Labour Students may be disaffiliated, labour students clearly not gone…

Watson Avoids Speech Walkout, By Not Giving One

Tom Watson has responded to Corbyn’s ‘speech swap’ plan by cancelling his speech entirely.

Citing that he would want to be in Parliament when it returns tomorrow, the Deputy Leader has cunningly avoided the planned mass walk out of his speech that had been devised by hard-left factions within the party and extensively advertised with leaflets inside the conference secure zone. Little victories…

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Watson Purge Fails

If you had a lie-in this morning you may have missed that Momentum’s attempt to purge Watson has failed. You may have missed it had even started last night. Jon Lansman, the multi-millionaire founder of Momentum proposed to the party’s governing NEC that the position of Deputy Leader be abolished. The headbanging outriders of Corbyn on Twitter were ecstatic, most Labour MPs were alarmed, it was reported that Gordon Brown had phoned Corbyn and McDonnell to lobby against the move, Tony Blair publicly backed the man who initiated the “curry plot” that led to his demise. Corbyn blinked.

What this is really about is stopping Watson becoming leader or even Prime Minister in the event that Corbyn vacates the position through ill health or machinations. Also the Labour left hates Watson for blocking some of their madder moves.

Jezza has proposed a compromise motion to the NEC advocating instead a review of the Deputy Leader position – it has long been suspected that the left wants a second Deputy Leadership position reserved for a woman – allowing Jeremy to play the statesman like peacemaker. The outriders are disappointed and Lansman now says this is a brilliant idea, not explaining why he proposed something completely different. Diane Abbott is claiming it was all just a media fabrication. Somewhere far away from Labour Conference Tony Blair is laughing…

Thornberry: Elected Deputy Leader Doesn’t Represent the Party

Not very comradely…

Corbyn Gives Up on Having a Brexit Policy

After 3 years of dithering, u-turning and total confusion, last night Jeremy Corbyn finally gave up on trying to assert a Brexit policy on the Labour Party. He conceded to offering his cabinet a free vote in a second referendum should they win power…

Corbyn will also allow his MPs to campaign on either side of his proposed referendum – granting a huge choice between remaining, and staying in the customs union and regulatory orbit of the single market.

The move comes after Emily Thornberry’s excruciating Question Time appearance last week, where she had to explain with a straight face that if Labour came to power she would help negotiate a new deal with the EU, then campaign against it to stay in.

Meanwhile, deputy party leader Tom Watson has come up with yet another excuse to vote against a general election – saying there should be a second referendum beforehand. Maybe the new strategy is to make Britons so exhausted with as many votes as possible that they don’t notice Labour’s spinelessness…

Comrade Rayner Defies the Labour Leadership

Discipline is increasingly breaking down in the senior ranks of the Labour Party politburo, this morning previously loyal Comrade Angela Rayner shamelessly defied her party leadership not once but twice live on state television. Counter-revolutionary treachery…

First Rayner contradicted John McDonnell’s incendiary comments on a second Scottish Independence referendum, then – even worse – she sided with calls from Enemy of the People #2 Tom Watson for Labour to work together with Enemy of the People #3 Jo Swinson to block no deal. Next she’ll be saying she likes Tony Blair…

Diane Abbott Endorses Call for Tom Watson to Resign

Labour’s latest civil war getting even uglier. Naturally Diane Abbott picks the side against the people trying to do something about Labour’s anti-Semitism…

Labour MPs’ Damning Responses to Panorama

Is this the moment when Labour MPs finally stand up and do something about it? Or do they just go back to campaigning to make Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister anyway?

90 Labour MPs and Peers Call for Corbyn to Strip Whip from Chris Williamson

Over 60 Labour MPs and 30 peers including deputy leader Tom Watson have issued a statement calling for Jeremy Corbyn to remove the whip from Chris Williamson “immediately”. Despite a highly irregular Labour NEC panel overturning his suspension as a member of the Labour Party, it is still up to Corbyn whether he retains the Labour whip in Parliament. Will Corbyn act? Will the MPs act if he doesn’t?

At least they’re taking it more seriously than Lincoln MP Karen Lee who wrote that she was “absolutely chuffed to bits” with the news Williamson had been reinstated in a now deleted Facebook post. You couldn’t make it up:

UPDATE: Now over 70 Labour Party staffers have written to General Secretary Jennie Formby to protest Williamson’s reinstatement. They have called for an immediate review and the implementation of a “truly independent complaints process”.

Read both letters in full below:

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Tom Watson’s U-Turn on Bad Al’s Brexit Agenda

Tom Watson has been making a full-throated case for remaining in the EU this morning at the sycophantic pro-EU think tank Centre for European Reform. Guido couldn’t help but remember this memorable clash between Watson and Alastair Campbell just last May.[…] Read the rest

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Tom Watson’s Pet Press Regulator Rejects His Skwawkbox Complaint

Tom Watson has become the latest IMPRESS cheerleader to lose out at the hands of the Max Mosley-backed press regulator, after Peter Jukes’ tinfoil-hat outfit Byline got slapped with a £2,500 fine for defamation. Watson himself received a spanking £500,000 from former fascist and IMPRESS funder Mosley during his campaign against the free press…

Watson accused Skwawkbox of breaching IMPRESS’s ‘Harassment and Privacy Clause’ over an article that published his office mobile number online.[…] Read the rest

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Labour Member Suspended Over ‘Jewish Donors’ Remark is Now a Labour Spokesman

Guido readers may remember George McManus, the Momentum-backed member of Labour’s National Policy Forum, who was suspended by the Labour Party for this Facebook post about Tom Watson’s “Jewish donors” last year:

Not only did Labour reinstate McManus after just eight weeks, they’ve actually made him a local election candidate and a Labour spokesman in the East Riding of Yorkshire.[…] Read the rest

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Watson Characterises May

Tom Watson on Theresa May’s merits…

I think she is driven by public duty and of the highest integrity. She’s just a lousy deal maker.[…] Read the rest

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Tom Watson: Second Referendum “Only Way We Can Bring the Country Back Together”

Tom Watson freestyling on Marr as he backs a second referendum “under all circumstances” and says it’s “inconceivable” that it won’t be in Labour’s next manifesto. Guido wants whatever Watson’s had for breakfast if it’s genuinely made him believe that a second referendum is the “only way we can bring the country back together”…[…] Read the rest

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Blair on Watson

Tony Blair on Tom Watson…

“He is showing great leadership.”[…] Read the rest

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Watson: The Labour Party is in Crisis

[…] Read the rest

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