Tom Watson Plans Changes To ‘Pretty Unpopular’ Labour Leadership Rules

Labour’s deputy leader said this morning he “open minded” on which system was best. However he warned expanding shadow cabinet elections to include members would cost £250,000 each time and there were “cultural and technical barriers”.

Watson said he believed Theresa May was likely to call an early general election which meant Labour would need to get “the band back together” in order to challenge the Conservatives.

However he acknowledged there would be several high profile Labour MPs who would not want to return to the shadow cabinet for “dignity” reasons, given many had recently quit.

Watson also said any attempt by allies of Corbyn to oust him as deputy leader, a position elected by members, would lead to another “summer of misery” when the party should be focused on the Tories.

He also said Corbyn was entitled to remove him as chairman of the party if he so wished. But added: “I would be very happy for someone else to take the onerous responsibility of trying to keep the Labour Party in order,” he said.

Corbyn this weekend refused to deny that the futures of Watson and Labour general secretary Iain McNicol were discussed at a top-secret summit held at Unite the union’s training centre in Surrey.

Some Corbyn supporters see both Watson and McNicol as complicit in the ‘coup’ against the leader, a charge both men deny.

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