Watson challenged to make a bid for the Labour leadership – but will he take the bait?

Wrong-footed: Tom Watson has been challenged to support his words about Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party with deeds.

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson may have bitten off more than he can chew.

In an interview with Andrew Marr on February 24, Mr Watson said he wanted to create a group of “social democrats” within the Labour Party to challenge the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, particularly over anti-Semitism.

This Site has already commented on the anti-Semitism issue, pointing out that Mr Watson’s words cannot be taken at face value after he accepted money from the Israeli government, which is doing all it can to prevent Jeremy Corbyn becoming the UK prime minister – via Labour Friends of Israel.

Others said that Mr Watson needs to keep up with events – a group of Labour MPs has already been created to challenge Mr Corbyn over issues including anti-Semitism. It calls itself The Independent Group and is rapidly losing support in the opinion polls after it was revealed that it has no positive policies; we know what it opposes, but not what it supports.

Now, according to Skwawkbox, Labour MPs have demanded that Mr Watson should just put his money where his mouth is and launch a full-on challenge for the leadership of the Labour Party – or stop rocking the boat once and for all. Corbyn-supporting MPs have even offered him their nominations, to ensure he gets on the ballot paper (in an ironic gesture towards those Corbyn-opposing MPs who gave the current Labour leader their nomination in the name of variety).

Mr Watson is backed into a corner. If he agrees to make a formal challenge, he’ll lose; Mr Corbyn is hugely popular among the party in general. But if he refuses, he’ll never be able to speak up against Mr Corbyn and expect a decent hearing; he’ll have had his chance.

What do you think he’ll do?


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15 thoughts on “Watson challenged to make a bid for the Labour leadership – but will he take the bait?

  1. SteveH

    Tom Watson’s plan of running a parallel A/S complaints process appear to be designed to undermine the party’s disciplinary processes. The lawyers would have a field day over due process and that’s before we even consider the ramifications of GDPR.

  2. rotzeichen

    It’s all smoke and mirrors, he knows that would be the end of him and would rather skulk around making trouble as a deputy leader rather than an open challenge.

      1. Growing Flame

        I think that Jackie Cairns means that anything that Tom Watson, and others, dislike about the modern Labour Party will be deemed “anti-semitic” regardless of the subject. If we take long enough, we could find that arguing for a Customs Union with the EU could be called “anti-semitic”. All you have to do is associate the idea with someone already smeared as “anti-semitic” and, hey-presto! the idea itself becomes “anti-semitic”.

        I have a terrible feeling that all these wild allegations being made against the Labour Party is diverting attention from the activities of the convinced, committed anti-semites of the far-Right so that we will become unable to know the difference.

  3. Michael McNulty

    Jeremy and Tom Watson will both be aware they both have links to the Battle of Cable Street. Jeremy’s mother stood against the fascist Blackshirts in defence of the local Jews who were the target of the march, while Max Mosley, the son of Oswald Mosley who led the march, is said to be a financial backer of Tom Watson.

  4. Colin Clarke

    Millions of voters welcomed Jeremy Corbyn as the leader of their party. We, the electorate backed our party under Jeremy Corbyn. We are looking forward to OUR party becoming the Government of the United Kingdom. If a few right wing labour pretenders stop the electorate from voting labour into power and getting rid of the right wing slavers, then we are no longer a democratic country and we must think up a new way of bringing democracy back to Once Great Britain!!!

  5. James

    In a recent popularity poll on non-Labour party members Theresa May, one of the worst prime ministers and political leaders of all time, scored a poor -25% but believe it or not Jeremy Corbyn did a whole lot worse scoring -55%. Parties don’t win elections when their leaders score that kind of statistic with the non-affiliated voting public. So my bet is that Watson is setting out his stall prior to Labour losing the next general election and will make his bid for the leadership during the aftermath of that defeat rather than before.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      You forget that the media aren’t currently bound by the impartiality rules that apply during elections. Mr Corbyn will do okay – especially once we’ve got rid of his backstabbers.

      1. James

        In the most recent polls Labour are 7 points BEHIND the frenzied rabble that once was the Conservative party, despite their absolutely hopelessness policies and utterly hopeless leader. Leaders who are -55% in popularity polls don’t recover from such depths. Your problem, Mike, is that you don’t realise that Labour cannot win an election without gaining support from floating voters who are not affiliated with the party itself. You may well expel “backstabbers” from Labour’s ranks until no critics remain of Corbyn and no dissenting voices can be heard but than won’t make the party more electable, much less so in fact because Labour will then be even less palatable to the vast majority of the voting public who live their lives OUTSIDE of political parties.

        Labour have already LOST the next general election because as things stand it is not in a position now to increase its share of votes and already convinced Labour party supporters are insufficient as a constituency to get Labour over the line.

        And, sad, to say it’s people like you who are responsible.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Seven points is hardly any difference in the polls and may be regained in a single week. Mr Corbyn’s position in the same polls is due to a campaign of lies about him, as you well know.

        Labour can easily gain support from the voters during an election period, as 2017 proved.

        You seem to misunderstand the problem with the Labour backstabbers. Criticism of a leader is to be welcomed, when it is carried out in the right way. Public vilification is not the right way and those following such a pattern – especially when their criticisms are based on falsehoods, as in the current cases – deserve suspension, censure, and eventual expulsion if they fail to fall into line.

        Your claim that Labour will be “even less palatable” if such people are removed is mistaken as the vast majority of the voting public would in fact conclude that Labour has got its act together and thrown out the trash.

        Your propaganda about the next general election is nothing more than blown smoke.

        And trolling me won’t help your cause either.

  6. Zippi

    As I said, Mike, it’s about perception and the descenters Blairites and others are painting the Party of one that it in serious trouble, BECAUSE of its leadership; that Chuka et al only left, because things became intolerable for them; they did the honourable thing. Once Mr. Corbyn is gone, the Party will be salvageable. These people would rather risk the Party becoming unelectable for a generation than see a socialist government. It was very interesting; on Radio 4, at the weekend, was a profile of £uciana Berger in which it told of how she resigned as soon a Jermey Corbyn was elected leader. How many others refused, point blank, to serve under him? This should tell us everything that we need to know. Sadly, most people are not that tuned in and will believe, whatever the evidence, that Jeremy Corbyn is the problem and not those who have been seeking to unseat him, since his nomination!
    James, how are people like Mike responsible and what do you mean, exactly? I don’t understand what you mean.

Comments are closed.