Labour ruling body in bid to oust deputy leader Tom Watson
20 September 2019, 22:33 | Updated: 21 September 2019, 01:43
The Labour party's ruling body is considering a move to abolish the post of deputy leader.
On the first day of the party's conference, the National Executive Committee will examine the issue after Momentum’s Jon Lansman tabled a motion to remove the role.
Current deputy leader Tom Watson has publicly clashed with Jeremy Corbyn on a number of occasions.
He recently called for a new Brexit referendum to be held before a general election.
Former Labour leader Ed Miliband hit out at those responsible for the move, he suggested they had taken" leave of their senses."
The move to abolish the deputy leader post without warning or debate is undemocratic, wrong and should not happen. Those who came up with the idea for the eve of Labour Conference have taken leave of their senses.— Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) September 20, 2019
Labour's NEC is to consider abolishing the post of deputy party leader on Saturday after a bid to get rid of the post failed at a meeting on Friday.
Labour MP Wes Streeting described the move as "self-destructive"
Labour Conference this week needs to put the Party on a general election footing - talking to the country about our vision for Britain. For @jonlansman and @PeoplesMomentum to try and remove our Deputy Leader @tom_watson isn’t just outrageous, it’s self-destructive and must stop.— Wes Streeting MP (@wesstreeting) September 20, 2019
A Momentum source said: “No one person is more important than beating Boris Johnson, ending austerity and tackling the climate emergency. We just can’t afford to go into an election with a deputy leader set on wrecking Labour’s chances.
“Labour members overwhelmingly want a deputy leadership election, but our outdated rulebook won’t let it happen. You need 20% of Labour MPs to trigger an election, and they just won’t let the members have a fair and open election.”
Ok folks, hold onto your hats.— Lewis Goodall (@lewis_goodall) September 20, 2019
Just received this text from a Labour MP.
They think the Labour Party is about to split. pic.twitter.com/giVg5fOR0l
Sky News Political Correspondent Lewis Goodall was messaged by one Labour MP who said "think the Labour Party is about to split," with some commentators suggesting the message be a ruse to help unite the party.
The NEC is responsible for overseeing the overall direction of the party and the policy-making process.
The Labour Party conference starts on Saturday in Brighton.