Tom Watson’s attempt to hijack Labour processes has ended in humiliation
Labour deputy leader Tom Watson’s recent attempts to increase his profile and influence by hijacking Labour processes caused him to endure a ‘day from hell’ today – with two rebukes by front-bench colleagues and an embarrassing cancellation.
Watson was taken to task by Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry during this morning’s meeting of the Shadow Cabinet for his posturing behaviour toward Labour’s general secretary Jennie Formby and her hard-working staff, after Watson had announced he was going to take over the party’s disciplinary processes – which he has no authority to do.
But Labour’s strong front-bench women weren’t done with him yet. Dawn Butler also hauled him over the coals for the breach of ‘GDPR’ data protection laws involved in his demand to be copied into all complaints sent in by MPs. Labour members’ data can only be used for purposes they have explicitly consented to and an extra-curricular Watson jaunt – involving emails being copied to a non-Labour address for good measure – would certainly not qualify.
And his day of embarrassment continued into the evening as news emerged that he had cancelled the planned inaugural meeting of the ‘social democrat’ policy platform group he had told media he would be holding to empower so.
When Watson announced his new group, Labour MPs told the SKWAWKBOX that nothing would come of it because Watson is ‘lazy’ and has a record as a starter, not a finisher:
Tom’s got a record for announcing these things with a big fanfare but not following through. He starts but doesn’t finish – has anyone heard of his ‘fake news task force’ that he announced not too long ago? He wants the attention, but he’s too lazy to actually see things through.
Tom Watson’s office was contacted for comment but had not responded by the time of publication.
The cancellation of tonight’s meeting is certainly an inauspicious start to Watson’s new empowerment group – but his double-scolding during today’s Shadow Cabinet meeting seems to be causing Labour MPs the most amusement.
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