Plan pushed by Watson – said to be backed by McDonnell
A plan pushed by Tom Watson to delay a general election for months and push for a referendum to be held first is gaining traction at the top of the Labour Party – reportedly with the aid of Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.
Watson wants to put off any general election until at least summer next year and hold a new Brexit referendum before then – on the ludicrous premise that the narrow remain win he is hoping for will settle the Brexit question, rather than inflame it. Watson’s plan is driven by an awareness that a general election will not help remainers because of remain’s unpopularity in a majority of Labour constituencies – and, many believe, by a desire to reduce Labour’s electability in order to remove Corbyn.
A number of media commentators, including ITV and Sky News correspondents, have reported that John McDonnell has put his weight behind the plan since a number of Corbyn’s closest advisers were moved out of Corbyn’s office to Labour’s Southside HQ:
McDonnell has denied the claims.
The Watson move would require the overturning of Labour’s conference motion supporting Corbyn’s plan to decide Labour’s referendum position after the general election.
If the reports are true, it appears McDonnell believes he can do this via a ‘Clause V’ meeting to finalise Labour’s manifesto position – which would also force Labour into a ‘full remain’ stance if a referendum has not already been held.
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