Deputy leader Tom Wat­son to quit for ‘per­sonal, not po­lit­i­cal’ rea­sons

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS -

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.

Tom Wat­son

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