Tom Watson reveals his position on the Labour leadership election

21 January 2020, 18:48 | Updated: 22 January 2020, 08:56

Tom Watson told James O’Brien that Labour members need to decide whether they want a leader who keeps the same policies - or one who can win elections.

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Mr Watson stepped down at Labour’s deputy leader in the election last month in which the party slumped to a heavy defeat to the Conservatives.

That marked the second time Jeremy Corbyn’s manifesto failed to win an election and the former Deputy suggested it was time to drop it and move on.

He said he hasn’t chosen who he will back, but did say he was unlikely to back continuity candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey.

Speaking on Full Disclosure with James O’Brien, he said: “I am keeping an open mind because they have to explain why we keep losing elections. And then they need to explain how we are going to win elections.

“And then the real challenge is not the leadership candidates, it’s our collective membership. Do they actually want to pick a leader that can win elections or you they want to pick a leader that wants to maintain a policy prospectus that’s been rejected in two general elections?

“And it might be that Rebecca, using her faction base, chooses to develop an argument in which she rejects some of those policies we’ve sat on. Which is why I’m definitely keeping an open mind.”

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