Labour NEC member publicly attacks Watson for ‘deliberately’ misrepresenting party rules and protecting ‘mates’

Lara McNeill’s frank thread lists string of issues with Watson’s behaviour
The opening salvo in NEC member Lara McNeill’s public criticism of Tom Watson

Labour National Executive Committee (NEC) member Lara McNeill has publicly laid into the party’s deputy leader Tom Watson, following Watson’s attempt to attack Labour’s decision to follow its rules and expel former Blair spin-doctor Alastair Campbell.

Campbell had told national broadcasters that he had voted for the LibDems in last week’s EU elections and had encouraged voters to support other parties than Labour – an automatic expulsion offence under Labour rules.

Watson went to the media to describe the decision as ‘spiteful’ and also called for an ‘amnesty’ for Labour members who voted for other parties last week – even though Labour’s press office had made it very clear that Campbell’s vote was not the issue and that he was expelled for broadcasting it and encouraging others to cast their vote elsewhere.

McNeill’s short Twitter thread laid into not only Watson’s ‘deliberate’ misrepresentation of Labour’s rules, but also his obstructive hypocrisy when his ‘mates’ break the party’s rules – and the consequent inappropriateness of Watson’s well-publicised attempts to commandeer Labour’s disciplinary processes.

It was an astonishingly frank series of comments:

McNeill’s honesty and bravery were praised by readers and activists:

Ms McNeill also spoke directly to the deliberately misleading media representation of interference in disciplinary issues, which the media has attributed to party leader Jeremy Corbyn and his staff or the party’s general secretary Jennie Formby:

Tom Watson is also the target of huge criticism from Labour members, thousands of whom have signed an open letter to the NEC asking it to demand the ‘shockingly unfit’ Watson’s resignation as deputy leader. He has previously been similarly criticised both by other NEC members and by Shadow Cabinet colleagues for his ‘foul’, ‘appalling’ and obstructive behaviour, including the solicitation of data breaches.

Tom Watson has been contacted for comment.


Bravo Lara McNeill. It had to be said. Will other NEC members add their voices?

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  1. “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”
    ― Malcolm X

    NB: The word “newspapers” is currently interchangeable with the words “Alastair Campbell,” “Tom Watson” and “Labour Friends of Israel.”

  2. Well played, Lara.

    I just hope a few more high-profile members find the courage to voice their disgust with the imbecile.

  3. There being no vacancy, we still need nominations from 20% of the combined PLP and EPLP. Tall order…

  4. I voted for Watson and very much regret it and apologise to the rest of the membership for doing so although there were plenty of you that joined me, since his election I cannot think of one of his stances I agree with, he is a negative influence and it seems his main object in life is return the party to a Blairite entity despite the hostility it would arouse.

    1. Dont’t feel too bad,so did I. I honestly thought his links to the media would be used in a positive way. To make matters worse I have to vote for Hodge as she is my MP and is untouchable at a constituency level.

    2. Me too, and I did so because he was allegedly behind the coup against Blair promised, to 100% support the elected leader and was a known bruiser/ fixer that I felt JC could do with on the inside. What none of us could know was that he was lying. He has been responsible or otherwise involved in just about every dirty trick in the book deployed against the members and our elected leader. If he feels 84% of the party supports him then put it to the vote on his own re- election.

    3. Me too.I rather stupidly thought making a concession to the neo-libs would help unite the Party. Next thing I knew members like me were being denounced as Trotskyists and Chicken Coup was in full swing. Watson has not ceased to lay off since.

  5. Utterly negative Labour Party MP – undermines everything good about the party – just seems insanely jealous of bigger, more charismatic characters in the Party. Not helped by the fact that he now looks like the Cheesestrings character since he’s lost weight…grade ‘A’ Clown.

  6. Oh and didn’t Watson recently make all the NEC’s emails public?
    Nice one Lara!
    I once saw Watson outside a city centre hotel in the Miliband GE and he was having a joke with I think Javed from the Tories and I thought: “Two Tories Together?”
    Hope members would choose left wing democratic socialist PCCs.
    We need REAL socialists to fight for and alongside diverse working people.

  7. Watson won his leadership position by lying. He said he would support the leader 100%. He should be removed for that reason alone and Chris Williamson brought back to take part in a new contest.

  8. Watson won his leadership position by lying. He said he would support the leader 100%. He should be removed for that reason alone

    What are the other reasons you think he should be removed for, jack?

  9. I just did a search to see how the papers et al were reporting the Alastair Campbell episode (which was all planned and contrived and scripted well before the European elections of course), and in the Daily Telegraph today there’s an article with the headline: ‘How can Labour be so tough on Alastair Campbell and yet so soft on anti-Semitism?’. And I have little doubt that the Sun and the Daily Mail etc have gone with the same falsehood, the point being of course that THEY all know what LP rules are in respect of members etc voting for, or supporting another political party – ie automatic expulsion – but they also know that the vast majority of the public are NOT aware that that is the case.

    The Telegraph article is behind a paywall, but I just clicked on it and, as such, the first couple of paragraphs or so are visible, and it says the following:

    It’s hard to believe Alastair Campbell didn’t know what he was doing when he publicly divulged how he had voted at the European Elections. Surely Tony Blair’s former master of spin would have realised that an admission of siding with the Lib Dems wouldn’t go down well with the Party rule book.

    Indeed, as Shadow minister Dawn Butler explained after Campbell was ignominiously jettisoned from Labour, members who admit voting for another party are “automatically excluded”.


    When I was watching BBC News 24 earlier today, the AC expulsion was one of their headline stories – ie the second item after the Boris Johnson court case story – and they oh-so conveniently omitted to mention the LP rules in respect of members etc voting for another political party, but the Telegraph obviously realised that they couldn’t get away with doing the same, as most of their readers – as with the Guardian and the Independent – would be aware of such rules. That said, the author of the article is obviously being disingenuous when she pretends that it was only as a consequence of what Dawn Butler said that she learnt what happens.

    There is also another Telegraph article with the headline: ‘Jeremy Corbyn faces mutiny as Labour grandees dare him to expel them after Alastair Campbell thrown out’.

    You have to acknowledge how clever the saboteurs are, albeit underhand and devious and totally fraudulent!

    PS Oh, and there’s also the following article in the Telegraph headlined: ‘Expelling Alastair Campbell is a superbly Machiavellian move by the ruthless hard Left’. The author was of course being ironic, as the machinators often are! They just lurve to amuse their readers.


    1. Interesting post Allan , and I can’t say I ‘am at all surprised , perhaps maybe he’d already been in a friendly chat with his mates at the various scribblers Tory rags , primed em and they responded accordingly with yet another attack on Labour .
      I recon the time has now come to just get on and expel all those who dare the party to do so by flaunting the most basic and clear rules , for JC to sack Twatson and to hell with the backlash , we are already getting that now , and appeasement no longer works

    2. Just came across this piece of abhorrent black propaganda poison on the Daily Mail’s website (posted early this morning and no doubt in the newspaper itself), so very conveniently timed to appear on the same day as the Alastair Campbell falsehood:

      ‘Jeremy Corbyn and a party infected by pure poison: JULIA NEUBERGER, the Rabbi whose mother fled to the UK to escape the Nazis, gives her damning verdict on Labour’s anti-Semitism shame’


      1. My apologies (for so many posts), but here’s some good news, re Stan Keable; but then again, it should never have come to this in the first place of course:

        Employment Tribunal Judgement Friday May 24th: “Unfair dismissal, both procedurally and substantively”.


      2. “The investigation into Her Majesty’s Opposition represents a new low in British politics.”

        Agreed. But not for the same reason Neuberger says.

        She criticises Corbyn for his relations with Hamas but fails to mention that much of the anti-Semitism in the Middle East originates in Saudi Arabia.
        Why are people with close links to the Saudis given a free pass?

        Many thanks for bringing this deplorable article to my attention.

  10. “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”

    Antonio Gramsci

    As others have already said, appeasement has not worked and it was never going to because the right are not interested in accommodation, they want total victory/abject surrender swiftly followed by mass expulsions/suppression of the left – the ruling class demand it as the price for electoral victory and the restoration of normal service. There isn’t going to be any resumption of normal service: We seem have reached the point where it is us or them and since we also dwell in a weird interregnum whilst the Tories plunge their own knives into each other, we have no other choice now than to face them down and act decisively against Watson & Campbell’s 5th column – otherwise the morbid symptoms will persist and I may never live long enough to witness the new being born.

    1. Certainly more significant than on-topic continual circularity about Watson , Campbell et. al.

      Cook is good at forensically highlighting why Corbyn has been so viciously attacked on with the antisemitism issue, and the role of Israel within that wider Middle East context.

      The problem with the popular ‘cowboys and indians’ scenarios is that, in the middle east, there are very few ‘good guys’ – those that may be classed as such are small and vulnerable.

      Meanwhile, a key recent feature of the propaganda war is the co-option of the EHRC into an investigation of Labour at the behest of the Israel lobby. I note that certain individuals here who are quite happy to bang on about the domestic right in the Party will also propound the ‘antisemitism’ myths that fit into the power jigsaw that lies behind so much.

      1. Thanks for the link Tony (he was of course just confirming what many of us knew from the outset….. Scott Ritter, that is). I checked out his new book on Amazon, and would really like to buy a copy, but it’s a bit more than I can afford at the moment (about £17.50), but I read the free sample, and will definitely get a second-hand copy if and when there’s one going for about half that price:


  11. It wasn’t too long ago that TWatson’s buddies were systematically purging members for tweeting support of the Foo Fighters and Green Party.

    Typical hard right hypocrisy.

    1. There’s a rulebook for ordinary members and no rules for the elite. It stinks! Show some balls and expel all who’ve made the same statements! Otherwise might as well throw the rule book into the bin!

  12. The Tories announced the chair for their racism inquiry and within 24 hours it turns into a full-on car crash as their impartial chair exposes his own religious prejudices.

    Tory Islamophobia inquiry chair in row over Kashmir views

    Swaran Singh’s neutrality in question over comments conflict is not Muslim-only tragedy

    The newly appointed chair of the Conservative party’s inquiry into its handling of complaints about discrimination, including Islamophobia, has been plunged into a row over comments he made about the disputed Kashmir region.

    The Tory peer Sayeeda Warsi questioned the views of Prof Swaran Singh, who was announced on Tuesday as the chair of the review, after he wrote a piece for an online publication whose editor has dismissed Islamophobia as a term designed to shut down criticism of Islam.

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