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Watson skips PLP and Shadow Cab, flees NEC at lunch-break

Tom Watson

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson has been criticised by colleagues for failing to turn up for meetings of the parliamentary Labour party (PLP) and Shadow Cabinet – and then ‘doing a runner’ from today’s meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) at lunchtime, after abandoning his attempt to force through his own version of a complaints process.

One senior Labour source told the SKWAWKBOX:

Watson didn’t attend PLP last night nor Shadow Cabinet this morning – after the reception Jennie Formby received at PLP, I think he decided he had best keep his head down, especially after the uproar about his part in the false abuse allegations. He went to the NEC, withdrew his antisemitism motion, made a very brief contribution and left. He never returned to present his deputy leader’s report.

An NEC member said:

I think Tom knew he was in for a torrid time after everything going over the last week or so. He dropped his complaints motion, then did a runner during the lunch break.

A Labour MP told the SKWAWKBOX:

Tom is unbelievable. Jennie Formby is in the middle of heavy chemotherapy but turns up and blows everyone away with her report, but Tom doesn’t even show up and it’s not exactly a rare occurrence. I don’t think he fancied facing questions about the Beech [conviction for perverting the course of justice and fraud] business.

Labour’s general secretary Jennie Formby gave a presentation to both the PLP and Shadow Cabinet on Labour’s progress in dealing with antisemitism complaints. MPs gave her a rousing standing ovation at Monday night’s PLP meeting. Watson has been heavily criticised for his ‘vile’ media attacks and ‘harassment’ on Formby.

Tom Watson has been contacted for comment.

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at Monday night’s PLP meeting.

Tom Watson has been contacted for comment.

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. Alan, I have tried on several occasions to use grounded all with no success. Is there another way to send support. My email, the one that people use to vilify me, is .Best wishes wobblyjack.

      2. I meant to find me. Grounded, I have no idea why that came up. Proof that the Tapeworm is chomping well?

  1. Looks to me that its clear Tom Watson is not performing the dutys he was elected for.We can easily remove him for bringing the Labour party into disrepute.The tv,newspapers social media and the radio are constantly reporting attacks by him against the leader and the party members!The NEC have more than enough evidence, When will they move to have him expelled…… Deathly silence..?What do they do?and are they performing the dutys they were elected for.Are they fireproof?

  2. Does he think by running away he’ll get off the hook for either his disgusting attack on Jennie who is undergoing chemo or his complicity in the character assassination of innocent men falsely accused of perverted sex crimes, some of whom lost everything. There will be other PLP and NEC meetings and he is going to have to face the music sometime – either that or resign. I hope it is the latter and soon so that we don’t have to invoke disciplinary action against him for bringing the party into disrepute.

  3. He knows full well his time is up as Deputy Leader and probably as an MP. The very media he’s used against members and Jeremy are turning against him. Hmm that said, the NEC should call him to account for what he has and hasn’t done. He should be immediately suspended!

  4. Now’s the time to relieve him of the shadow cultural secretary job, he isn’t doing it and what’s worse bringing it into disrepute. The culture job should be a really important part of Labour’s platform.
    If he has to be in the cabinet as he’s deputy leader then give him a made up onerous post (inspectorate of sewers or something).
    That would be a start and hopefully indicate that someone should challenge him

  5. Probably Watson is kegging it, if justice doesn’t get him inside Labour, George Galloway will destroy him in West Brom East (despite Watson’s backing from Neo-Liberal capital’s forces).
    Perhaps Labour should use the broken record record technique re claims of AS, we are WE ARE dealing with this more robustly and always draw on EVIDENCE; 1200 claims of AS against Labour in last 6 months, 600 not Labour members, and of remaining 600 investigated 6 expelled. I told this to a working class woman friend and she said: “Why doesn’t Labour say this?”
    But perhaps we need to up the intellectual ante and go on the ideological attack.
    Seperate from the AS issue, we should be clear that what politically is going on is that Neo-Liberal capitalism to maintain it’s profitability and to survive needs to privatise public sectors by country.
    So Labour is under attack from the Pro-Neo-Liberal capitalist forces and the Pro-Neo-Liberal capitalist media to protect their privilege (and the media’s tax dodging, offshore banking of its owners) and their POWER!
    Be bold Labour, raise the ante, citizens are intellectually inquisitive.
    Gramsci once said all men (and women) are intellectuals but only a few get in a position publicly to put their ideas into practice.
    Go for it brothers and sisters, I think citizens are crying out for Intellectual Freedom, and this may produce the next Corbyn Surge when the next GE comes which could be sooner than later.
    X and Solidarity!

    1. “EVIDENCE; 1200 claims of AS against Labour in last 6 months, 600 not Labour members, and of remaining 600 investigated 6 expelled.”

      One major problem is that all this is opaque : the substance of these incidents are unknown.

      We do know that, of the cases where we actually have the basic facts (the well known ones), a suspiciously high proportion of suspensions and expulsions themselves are invalid on any unbiased assessment of the evidence and the process.

      There is need for much greater transparency.

      1. vexatious claims on an industrial
        that rings a bell,
        out of 200 claims by Pantomime Dame how many had any substance, zero
        on any other planet the court would issue an ASBO
        have fun with the acronym

      2. Agreed – we should tell the stories of as many as possible of the more risible false AS claims on TV when interviewers get on that hobbyhorse. No identifying features obviously.
        When they say “what about this case?” say that we’re not able to discuss identifiable cases because of data protection and possible sub judice – and that without nine more false accusations the broadcast will be unfairly biased.

      3. Only for you cos you want AS to run and run. I would trust the authentic voice of a working class friend over yours anytime!
        Nip AS in the bud Labour and set the agenda plus add economically we will have massive state led public investment to stimulate the economy and feed the private sector supply chain.
        Also need dynamic business that draws on research and evidence, that listens to customers and involves staff, that pays a living wage, allows trade unions but most importantly draws on analysis and thinks critically.
        Labour needs to get back to trying to set the agenda by promoting its excellent policies!

      4. Regarding the 200 claims of A/S made by Margaret Hodge AND given the fact that the majority of them weren’t LP members, surely she should be questioned by the NEC and asked to explain how she came to think that those who
        WEREN’T members WERE members. Someone – and ESPECIALLY someone who is so obviously trying to sabotage JC’s leadership – shouldn’t be allowed to just lump in a whole bunch of people to boost the numbers – and do so knowing that the MSM will of course omit to update their readers and viewers and listeners – when there is no way she could have somehow thought they were LP members if they weren’t.

        Her intent was malicious and she should be reprimanded as such. At the very least.

      5. I’m hoping this will appear under my previous post at 12.22pm:

        Whilst doing a search in relation to another aspect of Margaret Hodges false claims of ant-semitism, I came across the following voxpolitical article (and I know SB covered it at the time):

        They [200 Jewish women who wrote a letter to the Guardian, which they very kindly declined to publish] pointed out that Margaret Hodge had claimed to have submitted 200 complaints of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party to general secretary Jennie Formby – but on investigation, those complaints concerned 111 individuals of whom only 20 were party members. Those involving the other 91 people were nothing to do with the Labour Party’s disciplinary procedure and her submission of those complaints was a waste of the party’s time.

      6. In actual fact the false claims made by Margaret Hodge are a lot worse than just her initial submission to the NEC, because AFTER the NEC found that only a handfull were actually LP members, she made a big thing of the fact that out of the 200 complaints she had submitted, the NEC only sanctioned a few of them AND she then used it to criticise LP procedures in dealing with A/S – ie used it as evidence so to speak to maintain that lots of people who made anti-semitic comments are not being punished AND the disciplinary system isn’t working. And needless to say she was quoted far and wide by the MSM.

        I’ll see if I can find some articles – or ONE, at least – in which she was quoted saying the above……. problem is that the articles WEREN’T specifically about her saying that, but HER bringing it up in articles about some other A/S episode – ie getting her oar in when the opportunity arose.

      7. “Only for you cos you want AS to run and run”

        Not sure what you’re wittering about, Bazza

        I’m even less sure that you do, either.

      8. RH my worry is that we are spending an awful amount of time and money to destroy vermin when there is clearly not any infestation of the Labour party from the rabid racists or AS fanatics…..I could be expelled for saying that,and we really need to insist that we cannot Eradicate a problem that does not exist in any great measure,and the statistics back us up.We need money to fight for a Labour government but at the moment all of our energys are wasted on identifying an enemy thats largely not there acording to statistics..The classic king with no clothes chasing down an enemy’ that is an apparition!

    1. And of course, first one to stick her oar in?

      jess ‘mouthpiece’ phillips. Just can’t help herself. That’s like cowsh*t complaining that horsesh*t stinks…

    2. If you recall, the disaster that is Jared O’Mara was another one down to the NEC (picking the candidate in this case).

      For years, Labour voters in the Hallam constituency were looking for ways of getting rid of Clegg (many actually voted for him in order to keep the Tories out).

      Success! Then : Bang! There goes another foot.

      1. Was it definitely the NEC that picked Jared? I live in Sheffield but I’d never heard that. He’s a local lad, unfortunately for us

  6. if you’re in politics then you need to be prepared to stand up for what you think and what you say. TW clearly doesn’t have the guts. Shame on him.

  7. Scrolled online front pages this morning. One story on BBC front page near bottom about how Tom has given many conflicting and contradictory accounts over time about the Beech saga. Sinking.

    Neither the Independent or the Guardian thought it fit to put on the front page this morning.


    1. Steve Richards – in current climate despite the Right Wing Israeli Govt recently declaring all non-Jewish citizens 2nd class citizens and last year threatening to deport 10,000 black migrants with its culture minister saying “We need to cut this cancer from our body” best to draw on evidence. Recently read a cracking book, Paul Keleman, ‘Labour and its 50 Year Relationship with Zionism.’

  8. A self evident truth ‘Israel is a racist endeavour’, The evidence is in front of your eyes as the Palestinian people are eliminated from Palestine. If you dare speak truth unto power, you are, by IHRA definition, anti-Semitic & will be expelled from a Labour Party that prefers lies & deceit.

    1. It may be part of the IHRA definition which Jeremy and the LP were forced to adopt under sustained pressure from the ‘moderates’ and the MSM, but I think it’s highly unlikely that anyone is gonna be sanctioned for saying as much.

      Anyway, I don’t think it got much coverage in the MSM, if any (I heard about it on RT early this morning), but Amnesty International have condemned Israel for demolishing dozens of Palestinian homes, and said that such actions amount to war crimes:

      1. The following is a typical example of the hundreds of articles published over a period of many weeks that finally led to the LP adopting the full definition. There’s a section in it headed ‘What Labour left out when it chose its own version’, but I have no idea if all the things it listed were actually true. It is the Jewish Chronicle after all!:

        PS And does anyone recall what the amendment – or whatever it was called – that Jeremy wanted to make to the definition WAS, that was then voted against by the NEC?

      2. Thanks Steve. The problem is that I find it very hard to listen to someone who dissembles a false and totally contrived narrative for the purpose of sabotaging Jeremy’s leadership AND at the same time smears the left-wing JC supprting membership – ie around 400,000 people – as anti-semites and bullies etc. And she’s not just a traitor to the Many, but also a traitor to democracy, let alone the concern and worry that she and her buddies cause to many in the Jewish community – ie fellow Jews – in their quest to destroy Jeremy.

        Anyway, I DID just flick through it just now listening to ten/twenty seconds here, and ten/twenty seconds there, and it lasts for just under 19 minutes in fact. I have nothing but the utmost contempt for her – and the other plotters – but I will try and listen to the whole thing at some point (with a bucket handy, close by!).

      3. Allan Howard at 6:06 pm

        I empathise with you, but it’s better to know your enemy. She’s a class act at playing the victim.
        If you do get round to listening to it all bare in mind that she said the following on 23/07/18

        Dame Margaret said ‘I don’t understand why we cannot just adopt it (the IHRA definition). If they don’t think there is enough in the definition that allows people to criticise the Israeli government they can add those clauses.

        It is amazing how she changed her mind

      4. Yes, funnily enough, I just happened to catch that bit when I was flicking through it Steve.

  9. If the Beech Affair and Watson’s part in it isn’t a very good reason to regard Tom as being the very last person who should be permitted to have any influence over the disciplinary process within the LP I don’t know what is.

  10. ‘Tom Watson has been contacted for comment.’

    Did you actually get through, or did the mega-foreheaded one have his phone on silent while he was well hidden, whimpering under his rock?

    Yeller bastard thinks it’ll all blow over, does he? Wrong again.

  11. I think the phrase “a pattern of behaviour” used to suspend Chris Williamson, more than adequately describes Watson and Hodge one of his cohorts, they should both be expelled.

    1. A vain hope in the times of gargantuan lies and hypocrisy.

      This is the time of Boris Johnson. What more needs one say?

      1. Have you caught up on this pearl of the airwaves ? :

        “Dominic Cummings expected to be senior advisor to the new PM”

        In these times, you certainly don’t need to make it up.

      2. And it looks like patel’s getting a plum job after her ‘shenanigans’ (Conducting meetings with israeli officials in the Golan Heights, far outside of her remit – or is mentioning THAT anti jewish, hodge, mann,watson et al?)

        Should be f***ing well strung up for treason, in my opinion

  12. I note the idea of a coalition, some sort of ‘unity Gov’ is doing the rounds again. Not something I am not comfortable with this in the current climate, extreme ‘centrists’ will seize any opportunity to continue austerity, privatisation and aggression/bullying on the global stage… Neil Clark floats a worrying idea on this.(via Jonathan Cook twitter).

    It has to be a GE not some unelected coalition formed of like minded neoliberal same olds with a veneer of being less bad than Johnson/Tories.

  13. John Mann and Dominic Cummings in new government,
    Is all we need to know to go for VONC
    At least test the water, shy bairns get nowt

      1. Please Dont
        Almost felt a tiny bit sorry for Israel for a micronanosecond

      2. Although it was not my reason for posting (@1:21pm) the video clip from PMQs below you can watch May congratulating Austin on his appointment

  14. There is no democracy 2 and 3
    Senior executive at Sky hosts Boris campaign and gets high level role advising government
    TRUMPTON and his bestie Arthur Daly nee Farage welcome Boris into the fold

    1. Trump, Watson , Hodge and Boris and other neer do wells in one comment xection. It’s like a Hammer film audition line up.

  15. “Maria 24/07/2019 at 11:21 am ”
    Surely no Labour government would give houseroom to the LD’s . They’re not even pretending to be anything other than tories now .
    As for Hodge , how is she going to wriggle out of the current complaint against her , having stalked JC in her vile campaign of harassment .

    1. Swinson (pro austerity) has already said she wont go into a coalition with Corbyn anyway. Lib Dems are enablers of worst neoliberal/neocon policies. They were joint contributors to the 2012 Health and Social Care Act a grave act of harm against the population, particularly in England.

      A Corbyn led Labour majority is vital in a GE as there is no party (imo) which can be trusted in coalition. PLP also needs a big clearout and replenishment with pro Corbyn agenda MPs, otherwise even a majority will be hampered by PLP, some may well take up seats then cross the floor to the likes of Lib Dems, never mind the ongoing assault from media and ‘establishment’.

      Re Hodge and the complaint against her, as I said, this will be a big test for the new procedure, assuming it is agreed by NEC. To be frank, I cannot understand why she hasn’t been suspended already. Many were suspended pending ‘judgement’ with far less ‘evidence’..

    1. Clear to all of us there will be a lot of last hurrah’s from bottom feeders
      Red Tories lost in no man’s land waiting to be picked off by the largest socialist party in Europe

    2. They even labelled him as a Labour MP in the description but he resigned from the party. I’ve sent a complaint to the BBC about it. Still can’t understand why he’s allowed to sit on the Labour benches?

      1. Christopher Fox at 2:44 pm
        “Still can’t understand why he’s allowed to sit on the Labour benches?”

        Have you not noticed who he sits with?

  16. Having accused Jennie of lying & writing letter to her full of lies and false claims he can’t be bothered to turn up to meetings where he would be questioned on his behaviour. Well that just sums up all you need to know about Tom Watson. His 15 mins of fame are up. Time for him to resign.

  17. He needs to go! How can he ever talk about loyalty? The only thing I can think of is that he enjoys the destruction of the country and the party.

  18. Watson’s in hiding…….but will appear for the election campaign to saboage….Watson’s CLP,get rid please and do Labour and Britain a service!

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