CLP and Momentum express complete solidarity with Labour’s general secretary and condemn deputy leader
The wave of outrage expressed by Labour members at the behaviour of the party’s notional deputy leader Tom Watson continues to grow. Watson has been heavily criticised for his targeting of Labour’s general secretary Jennie Formby, who is continuing to improve the party’s processes in spite of fighting breast cancer.
The latest groups to confirm their condemnation include Easington CLP in the north-east, which approved a motion submitted by its Blackhall branch calling for Watson to step down:
The Blackhall Branch notes that:
1. Under Party Rules, Clause VII, section ix. “the Deputy Leader shall provide the Leader with advice and support in achieving the goals of the Party and deputise as requested.”
2. That in her email of 1st March to Tom Watson, Jenny Formby, the General Secretary of the Party states “You have decided without consultation or regard to due process, to ask colleagues who raise complaints with me to forward them to your private email address as you will be ‘logging and monitoring’ all complaints. It is completely inappropriate for you to set up a vague parallel complaints monitoring system … The suggestion that you as an individual data controller should receive and store data related to complaints unrelated to your personal role as an MP … is completely unacceptable and exposes you, and the Party, to significant compliance risks. Furthermore you will undermine the work that my staff and I are doing and will confuse and pollute the existing formal process, compromising it and slowing it down.”
3. In a series of media interviews Tom Watson has declared his intention to set up an organisation of MPs to challenge the policies of the Leader and the Shadow Cabinet.
Blackhall Branch believes that Tom Watson’s actions seek to undermine the Party Leader, twice overwhelmingly elected by party members, and are not compatible with his remit as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.
Blackhall Branch requests that the CLP calls for Tom Watson to either stand down as Deputy Leader or submit himself for re-election as Deputy Leader.
Watson has also been condemned in the Labour right’s former West Midlands stronghold, with Birmingham Momentum issuing the following, strongly-worded statement condemning Watson’s “new low even by his standards”:
Labour sources have suggested that Watson’s behaviour toward Formby constitutes a breach of the 2010 Equality Act, as cancer sufferers constitute a protected category under the Act.
Watson is also under extreme pressure in the national press over his support for the allegations of Carl Beech, who this week was sentenced to eighteen years in prison for twelve counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud.
He was contacted for comment over these issues but did not respond.
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