Labour put out an official statement today, following Tom Watson’s hypocritical ‘take-over’ claims to BBC Radio 4 this morning. It reads:
Joint statement from Jeremy Corbyn and Tom Watson following today’s Shadow Cabinet meeting
Joint statement from Jeremy Corbyn and Tom Watson
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.
The shadow cabinet agreed our local and Mayoral election strategy and what a united Labour Party can and must offer the whole country after seven years of Tory austerity in terms of jobs, housing, education and health and social care.
We will fight for a Britain where people aren’t held back and where everyone in every community can lead a richer life.
Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party
Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party
Fine words and sentiments. However, the reality of today’s Shadow Cabinet meeting was rather worse for Watson than this official statement might suggest.
The statement below comes direct from a ‘senior Labour source’ who was present at that meeting:
Unanimous Shadow Cabinet support for Corbyn’s ‘slapping down‘ of Watson. ‘Reckless’, ‘careless’, ‘antics’ – and a complete disregard for the electoral consequences of this childish, self-centred behaviour.
Watson received a humiliation from and in front of the whole Shadow Cabinet today – for behaviour that is essentially a microcosm of the ‘antics’ of the entire right-wing PLP – hours after receiving a similar ‘slap-down‘ from Unite.
Has he overreached himself and pushed too far in a false expectation of impunity? It’s to be hoped.
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