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UK Labour Party officials attempt to oust deputy leader over Brexit

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UK Labour Party officials attempt to oust deputy leader over Brexit

By Andrew MacAskill

 

2019-09-20T211919Z_1_LYNXMPEF8J25K_RTROPTP_4_BRITAIN-EU-WATSON.JPG

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Tom Watson speaks on Brexit at an event in London, Britain September 11, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville

 

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's opposition Labour Party was plunged into fresh turmoil over Brexit on Friday as a key ally of leader Jeremy Corbyn attempted to have his deputy leader sacked on the eve of the party's annual conference.

 

At a meeting of Labour's National Executive Committee, Jon Lansman, the founder of Momentum, a Corbyn-supporting grassroots movement, proposed a motion to abolish the post of deputy leader, currently held by Tom Watson, citing his disloyalty over Brexit, according to two party officials.

 

The chair ruled the motion should be thrown out. Members voted 17 to 10 to overturn that decision but did not reach the two-thirds majority required for it to pass, the officials said. The proposal is likely to go back on the committee's agenda on Saturday.

 

A party spokesman was not immediately able to comment. Watson's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

 

Britain’s 2016 EU referendum has split not only British towns and villages but also parliament, with both Conservative and Labour leaders struggling to keep their parties united.

 

Corbyn will face pressure from delegates at the conference, which begins on Saturday in the English seaside town of Brighton, to shift towards openly backing remaining in the European Union.

 

Britain is currently scheduled to leave the EU on Oct. 31 but parliament has ruled that it should be delayed for a second time unless a divorce deal is agreed.

 

If Brexit is delayed and an early election is called to break the deadlock, Corbyn, an EU critic, has come under pressure from many in his party to unequivocally back remaining in the bloc.

 

But some in the Labour leader's team fear the party will lose the support of Brexit backers in places such as northern England, voters who could be crucial in an election that could come before the end of the year.

 

The divisions over Brexit were on display earlier this month when Watson said he supported pressing for a second referendum before an early national election.

 

His argument put him at odds with Corbyn, who says Labour would offer the people a second referendum on a credible option to leave against remaining in the EU, but only after an election.

 

Some Labour politicians criticized the attempt to remove Watson, saying this was not the time for the party to be divided.

 

The party "should be about putting forward a strong, unified message and showcasing the policies that will win that election," said Justin Madders, a member of parliament.

 

(Reporting by Andrew MacAskill; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-09-21
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2 hours ago, englishoak said:

Well with the Liberal Democrats recently stated they will literally cancel Brexit and revoke article 50 if elected thus becoming not in the least bit Democratic party. :wacko:

 

Tories with - 40 majority and looking into the jaws of destruction if Brexit isnt delivered and unable to hold an election while none of the other parties want to let the people speak again. :annoyed:

 

 Labour HAS to come out and try and compete with this lunacy and self harming by trying to abolish the position of deputy leader simply because its the easiest way of getting out a bloke Momentum hate... lets not debate and elect another deputy leader because that would mean following the rules, lets just cancel the position of 100+ years :hit-the-fan:

 

On top of all that there are literally dozens of MPs having left their old parties and some on their third membership since leaving will not even give their constituents a bi election between them...such is their trust and honour :whistling:

 

You couldnt make this up if you tried. This Parliament really is not fit for purpose.  

 

 

 

 

Well past its best before expiry date.

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What's stopping Corbyn relegating him to the back benches?

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15 minutes ago, dunroaming said:

I suspect that Johnson is slowly realising that he has to go and get some sort of deal with the EU or the Tories will be out at any forthcoming election.

 

Politics in Britain are broken and a radical clear out is needed.  Not going to happen though and we will just stagger on from one disaster to the next.

I doubt he can get an acceptable deal with the EU, the Backstop is the problem.

 

Labour already self-harming, only to be overshadowed by the the Tory Party conference due to start a week tomorrow which will turn Manchester into Dodge City.

 

 

Edited by Basil B
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1 minute ago, Basil B said:

I doubt he can get an acceptable deal with the EU, the Backstop is the problem.

 

Their party conference ended with a united party with a clear stance on Brexit.

 

Labour already self-harming, only to be overshadowed by the the Tory Party conference due to start a week tomorrow which will turn Manchester into Dodge City.

 

 

OK. No bickering here. With what you have written which makes some sense, how do you respect the 2016 referendum and keep democracy alive.

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9 minutes ago, Basil B said:

I doubt he can get an acceptable deal with the EU, the Backstop is the problem.

 

Labour already self-harming, only to be overshadowed by the the Tory Party conference due to start a week tomorrow which will turn Manchester into Dodge City.

 

 

Of course Johnson will not be able to better May's abysmal deal but he can probably re-arrange some words to make it sound more palatable.  As for the backstop, again he will try to find some sort of fudge.  If so you can expect a surge of Brexiteers jumping over to Farage and his cronies at the next GE.

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5 hours ago, englishoak said:

lets not debate and elect another deputy leader because that would mean following the rules, lets just cancel the position of 100+ years

It may not have come to your notice but Johnson cancelled the position of Deputy Pm when he came to power.

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