‘Perhaps he’s reacting to me taking the p*** out of him’, says Beckett
Unite’s assistant general secretary Howard Beckett has said that he is not leaving the union, after right-wing former Labour MP Tom Watson claimed he was ‘mov[ing] on to new projects’.
Watson published his claim on his Twitter feed in a tweet that didn’t quite congratulate new general secretary Sharon Graham on her election win:
Beckett told Skwawkbox:
I’m not leaving. My only new project is to build a stronger project to stand up to the forces Watson is so keen to support. Perhaps he’s reacting to me taking the p*** out of him after his man Coyne lost badly.
Watson was one of several Labour right-wingers in the West Midlands to unsuccessfully back Gerard Coyne in the election, despite his humiliation in the 2017 contest and his breaches of member data privacy rights that led to his dismissal by Unite.
Beckett has also publicly accused Watson of sending him unsolicited WhatsApp messages that the Unite man described as ‘a little creepy’:
Watson’s humour is unlikely to have been improved by the fact that Beckett stepped down as a candidate in the general secretary election in order to reduce division of the left vote and avoid letting Coyne to slip through. Gerard Coyne trailed in last in the contest.
Mr Watson has been contacted for comment.
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