Tom Watson’s position as deputy leader of the Labour party hangs in the balance this weekend after a move was made on the party’s national executive committee to oust him by abolishing his post. The motion was proposed by Jon Lansman, founder of Labour grassroots group Momentum. Although Watson survived Friday’s vote, a second attempt will be made on Saturday at the party’s conference. Figures on both sides of the party believe it will be successful.
It’s safe to say that this won’t come as a huge surprise to Watson. The Corbyn critic has previously spoken of the vulnerability of his position. Appearing on the BBC’s political thinking podcast last summer, Watson admitted he could be taken out as deputy leader. However, he suggested such a move would come from Unite boss Len McCluskey:
‘Yes, he is coming for me. They’re upping their delegates and all of that.
What will be, will be. He’s powerful enough, if he wants to take me out as deputy leader, he probably could, but that’s up to him. I’m just going to get on and try and bring everyone back together and do what I can as best I can.’
It seems Watson’s foes spread beyond Red Len.