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Working Conference: Move to abolish deputy deputy



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Media texts Tom Watson speaks to Radio 4's Today program about the bid to remove him as assistant supervisor. conference to remove his deputy, Tom Watson, by abolishing the position.

Mr Corbyn suggested that the role should be reviewed instead and supported by the governing national executive committee, a Labor source said. had called on the NEC to avoid an "internal civil war" when it was preparing for an election.

Mr. Watson called the move to remove him a "sectarian attack" on a "broad church".

He spoke before the party conference in Brighton and told the BBC that he found out late on Friday in a text message that had been proposed by Jon Lansman, founder of the Labor grassgroup Momentum.

He said he felt Mr Lansman "and his faction" were so angry with him over his demand that Labor would "unequivocally stay" and have another public vote on Brexit, that they "would abolish me rather than have a debate about it. "

After his intervention, Corbyn told reporters outside the convention center that he "liked" working with Watson.

He later said: "The NEC agreed tomorrow [Saturday] that we will consult on the future to diversify the leadership position to reflect the diversity of our society.

" And the conference will move on to defeat austerity, to the green industrial revolution, green new business that we get Tans ahead and give the people a final statement on Brexit. "

Mr. Lansman said he fully supported Corbyn's proposal to review the Vice Leader post.

" We must ensure that the role is properly responsible for membership while also uniting the party at the conference. In my opinion, this review is definitely the best way to do it, "he said.

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Jeremy Corbyn puts reporters' questions as he arrives at the Labor Party conference

Analysis: Labor message "damaged"

By BBC Political Correspondent Susana Mendonca

Let's face it ̵

1; nobody likes to find out with text that they are being buried.

But this was not the morning after a bad date, it was the morning after the last part of the story that is Labour's fractious relationship to himself.

And the deputy leader was not happy to hear in text last night that a plot was on the way to excavate him by abolishing his service.

A "sectarian attack", "pluralism will not be tolerated", a "drive by shooting" even, Tom Watson told the Today program.

If this conference was meant to be a moment for Labor to meet, focus on its policies and show the country that it is a unified force ready to lead after a general election, it did not start well.

The Parliamentary Workers' Party letter to its governing body described the movement as a "gross act to suppress dissent".

"Such things happen in Venezuela," Watson said. Music for the ears no doubt from the conservatives who have long made the comparisons to Labor's leadership.

Jeremy Corbyn seems to be trying to try some damage with restrictions now on a "review" of the role rather than immediate abolition.

But the damage to Labour's message before the conference seems to have been done.

The row over Mr Watson's position threatened to overshadow Labor's party conference.

Saturday morning, in an interview on the BBC's Today program, Mr Watson said the move from Momentum "moved us to another type of institution where pluralism is not tolerated".

He continued to appeal to Momentum activists to focus on showing people that they were serious about changing Britain's political economy rather than having "some sort of altered constitutional change to make a drive-by push you do not agree ".

Shortly thereafter, the Parliamentary Workers' Party (PLP), representing labor benches, wrote a letter to the members of the National Executive Committee – including Corbyn – saying the move was counterproductive and sent the country a message "we are more interested in internal struggles" than the life of the constituents.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who led Labor from 1994 to 2007, said the abolition of the vice-leadership post would be "undemocratic and politically dangerous".

Dawn Butler, shadow women and equality secretary, said that Momentum moved had "come out of the blue" but she could understand the frustration with the vice leader who had not seen shadow cabinet meetings "for a while".


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