Deputy leader Tom Watson to quit for ‘personal, not political’ reasons
father of two beautiful children. I’ve become healthy for the first time and I intend to continue with this work in the years to come.”
He said that he would remain as deputy leader until polling day in December and would be playing an “active part” in Labour’s election campaign.
Mr Watson was elected to the position in 2015, at the same time as Jeremy Corbyn was elected Labour leader. During their time together at the top of the party the two men clashed repeatedly, with Mr Watson – a former ally of Gordon Brown
– becoming a focus for the “moderate” opposition in the party to Mr Corbyn.
He was publicly critical of the leadership’s attempts to tackle anti-Semitism in the party and led moves to push it into supporting a second referendum on the EU, despite the resistance of the leader.
Most recently, he defied Mr Corbyn by calling for the party to back a new public vote before the country went to the polls in a general election.
His opposition to Mr Corbyn angered allies of the leader and on the eve of the party conference in September, they made an unsuccessful attempt to oust him by abolishing the post of deputy leader.
In recent months he has faced criticism over his role in promoting the false claims of a Westminster paedophile ring made by fantasist Carl Beech.