Watson’s bizarre meeting with peers leads to call for elected Shadow Cabinet – an practice whose abolition he publicly welcomed
ITV’s political editor has reported on a bizarre meeting held by Labour deputy leader Tom Watson with the party’s members of the House of Lords – in which Watson called for a return to the party’s old practice of electing its Shadow Cabinet.
The oddness of making such a call in a meeting with unelected parliamentarians seems to have escaped the iTV pundit:
But when Shadow Cabinet elections were last being held, Watson found the whole process a nuisance – so much so that he said he wouldn’t vote for any candidate who texted to ask him to:
In fact, Watson thought Shadow Cabinet elections were a ‘massive distraction‘ – so when then-leader Ed Miliband announced in 2011 that they were ending, Watson give his leader a big ‘attaboy’:
Perhaps choosing to float his idea in front of unelected members didn’t seem that odd to Watson. After all, Watson is not a big enough fan of party democracy to put his mandate for all his recent behaviour to the test by giving members a chance to vote on whether they want him to continue as deputy leader – and the ‘ShadCab’ elections, when they existed, only ever gave a vote to MPs and not to members.
Suddenly Watson has decided they’re absolutely essential. Nothing of course with any scrambling for relevance, an attempt to build a form of patronage in which he can try to win places for the handful of MPs that might join his new ‘social democrat party within a party’ project.
And absolutely nothing to do with any wish to hamper Corbyn and the mass membership of the party even more than he’s already trying to do.
Of course not.
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