Watson right-hand man resigns from job and cabinet – sign of collapse of W Mids right?

Sandwell heartland of Labour right has large number of new councillors – and new council leader from left is expected. Is latest resignation sign of right’s ongoing collapse?

The Labour right has seen a succession of earthquakes in its West Midlands Sandwell heartland – investigations by Labour’s National Executive (NEC), the ongoing suspension of then-council leader Steve Eling in spite of the efforts of local MP and Labour deputy leader Tom Watson to protect him, the deselection of right-wing councillors, data breaches and much more.

In last week’s local elections, a new and largely younger batch of councillors was elected – including Eling’s replacement in his Abbey ward. Eling’s replacement as council leader resigned – and it looks like the new council leader will be from the left of the party.

This week, the change appears to be continuing. The SKWAWKBOX understands that Cllr Paul Moore – who worked as Tom Watson’s office manager – has resigned from the council cabinet and has handed in his notice to Watson, reportedly to take up a job working for a charity.

Moore was a significant figure of the Labour right in Sandwell. Last year, he was one of two councillors reported to have visited the homes of new Asian members of the Labour party to quiz them about their reasons for joining, after Watson was said to have been concerned about a membership influx.

Local Labour activists consider this a sign of the further unravelling of the right’s power base – in a borough that local right-wing MPs were seen for years as ruling with a rod of iron.

Cllr Moore was contacted for comment but did not respond.


The wheels are coming off the right-wing Labour bandwagon in Sandwell. Is this double-resignation by a key Watson helper a signal of more to come?

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here for a monthly donation via GoCardless. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


  1. The more insightful right wing wreckers in the Labour Party can see which way the wind is blowing.

    The country wants change. The country needs change. The more intelligent right wing Labour MPs must be coming to terms with the fact that the four year campaign of attrition by right wing social democrats to sabotage the election of a socialist Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn has become a fool’s errand.

    At any other time the Blairite/Brown alliance to depose the twice elected leader of the Labour Party may well have succeeded.

    They would have got away with it if it were not for the damage austerity has unleashed on communities all around the country, hitting the poorest, and women, the hardest.

    It took eighteen years last time for people to become sick of the Tories. This time the Tories made people sick of them in less than a decade. The ‘Wasted Decade’.

    People want change. The right wing saboteurs in Labour are fighting a lost battle. They are like King Canute trying to hold back the tide.

    They would be well advised to plan and execute their exit strategy now and seek alternative employment. Alternatively, they will face the consequences of their actions in accordance with the rules of the Labour Party.

    There will be a few hardcore plotters left. Tom Watson, Keir Starmer etc, who are like the Japanese soldiers who refused to believe the war was over.

    Let’s keep rooting out corruption in the party so we are ready and able to root out corruption in government.

  2. It is obviously GREAT news that in one of the long-time corrupt, cronyist, heartlands of the Labour Right (in the main the really old-style, Right Wing TU-based Right , in contrast to the much newer middle class careerist Blairite Right) the old guard is collapsing. We on the Left need to be mindful however, alongside our justifiable glee, that the room for financial, and hence service delivery protecting, manoeuvre, for Labour Councils suddenly falling into the hands of the post 2015 Corbynite-wave Left , is practically non-existent as long as a Tory Government imposed ever-decreasing revenue support grant programme is in place year on year.

    After 2020 there will be NO vital revenue support grants to most councils in England – and Wales is in a similar predicament. So the danger is that new Left-led Labour Councils will be tarred with the now near future inevitable collapse of most Labour council services across the country . Only a new Labour government can save us from this – and Labour policy has been remarkably sparse on exactly how a future Labour government will refund the huge reduction in central support funding put in place as a rolling programme under George Osborne.

    Both a new Corbyn Labour Government and both Right Wing and Left-led Labour Councils , as with the postwar Attlee government , are facing inheriting a complete Tory-caused economic Austerity-ravaged shambles, no doubt added to by a hostile global markets response to a Leftish government, that digging the country out of that mess could well give the Tories the bogus ammunition (as it did the post war Tories) to create a narrative of “it was never this hard under the Conservatives” .

    I’m not at all sure that our rather over idealistic, mainly Left liberal, virtue signalling, rather than socialist, activist membership are at all aware of these harsh realities lying in wait. For which Momentum, and that opportunist old Labour Left manoeuvring dictator and sole proprietor , Jon Lansman, with its total abdication of any attempt at political education of its 40,000 , generally politically illiterate, members, will bear a heavy future historic burden.

    1. A very good post jpenny,I hope the last paragraph is not as prophetic as we think it will be.The rest of your post is a necessary warning about what history can teach us about what a Labour government will face and the apparent lack of policies to meet it.

  3. If it’s TRUE about Watson sending out counsellors to question new Asian members, thats racism and deplorable behaviour from an MP that should be reported to the NEC.

Leave a Reply