Tom Watson: hammering the Left; soft on the Right? [Image: Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images].

Let’s get the facts sorted quickly, shall we?

Over the weekend a leaked recording of Jon Lansman, the Momentum founder, emerged of him addressing supporters at a meeting in Richmond, South London, on March 1. On the tape, obtained by the Observer, Mr Lansman said Unite would formally affiliate with Momentum, if Len McCluskey secured re-election as general secretary later this month.

Mr Watson then pleaded with Mr Corbyn to “deal with” Momentum and its founder in a series of radio and television interviews on Monday.

Source: Jeremy Corbyn endures ‘explosive’ PLP meeting over anonymous briefing against deputy leader Tom Watson

Unite quickly issued a very sternly-worded rebuke against Mr Watson, who the union’s executive claimed should concentrate on democracy within the Labour Party (which has suffered serious criticism lately, due to alleged attempts to ‘rig’ the leadership election last summer) rather than interfering with the union’s structures:

Jeremy Corbyn, together with Mr Watson, issued a call for unity after a “robust” shadow cabinet discussion:

The shadow cabinet met today to discuss Labour’s policy and election plans and had a robust and constructive discussion about the challenges and opportunities ahead.

The shadow cabinet agreed on the need to strengthen party unity. It recognised the right of groups across the spectrum of Labour’s broad church to discuss their views and try to influence the party so long as they operate within the rules.

The leadership represents the whole party and not any one strand within it. No one speaks for the leadership except the leadership themselves and their spokespeople.

And Mr Corbyn released a video statement as well:

But none of this, it seems, will be enough to save Tom Watson from the wrath of Labour members and supporters across the UK.

What follows is just a taste of the response to Mr Watson’s intervention. How long can he remain in post, having alienated the party membership so thoroughly?

Emily Thornberry’s remarks, in the clip above, are perhaps the most pertinent: In-fighting in any political organisation, if publicised, is bad for it – and Tom Watson knows that. Therefore we can conclude that he has deliberately created the current issue in order to harm the Labour Party’s popularity with the public.

And he has succeeded – according to a recent opinion poll (admittedly, run by a Tory-supporting organisation), Labour is trailing the Tories by 19 points.

For that reason alone, This Site agrees with so many of the Labour supporters quoted above and elsewhere: Tom Watson has to go.

How long can he hold on?

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