Labour ruling body in bid to oust deputy leader Tom Watson

20 September 2019, 22:46

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson
Labour deputy leader Tom Watson. Picture: PA

The Labour party's ruling body is considering a move to abolish the post of deputy leader.

On the first day of the party's conference, the National Executive Committee will examine the issue after Momentum’s Jon Lansman tabled a motion to remove the role.

Current deputy leader Tom Watson has publicly clashed with Jeremy Corbyn on a number of occasions.

He recently called for a new Brexit referendum to be held before a general election.

Labour's NEC is to consider abolishing the post of deputy party leader on Saturday after a bid to get rid of the post failed at a meeting on Friday.

Labour MP Wes Streeting described the move as "self-destructive"

A Momentum source said: “No one person is more important than beating Boris Johnson, ending austerity and tackling the climate emergency. We just can’t afford to go into an election with a deputy leader set on wrecking Labour’s chances.

“Labour members overwhelmingly want a deputy leadership election, but our outdated rulebook won’t let it happen. You need 20% of Labour MPs to trigger an election, and they just won’t let the members have a fair and open election.”

Mr Watson has been a vocal critic of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
Mr Watson has been a vocal critic of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Picture: PA

The NEC is responsible for overseeing the overall direction of the party and the policy-making process.

The Labour Party conference starts on Saturday in Brighton.