Labour conference: Female joint deputy leader plan ditched
Plans for a woman to be elected joint deputy leader of the Labour Party have been withdrawn over concerns it would undermine Jeremy Corbyn.
Deputy leader Tom Watson said he was “very disappointed ” by the move, which he blamed on “hard left” activists.
The plan was backed by the National Executive Committee and unions.
But it was withdrawn by the Constituency Labour Party that had tabled it, Wirral West, at the party’s conference in Liverpool.
Documents seen by the BBC show that there was opposition from the Labour leadership on the idea
Labour unexpectedly drops plan for female co-deputy leader
Wirral West constituency party withdraws motion over reports role could be used to ‘sow disunity’
Labour has unexpectedly shelved plans to create a position for a second, female, deputy leader, a policy backed by the current deputy leader, Tom Watson.
The party’s ruling national executive committee had voted in favour of the change at its pre-conference meeting. The move had historically been backed by the party’s left as a way of limiting Watson’s influence after the Labour veteran was partially blamed for the campaign against Jeremy Corbyn in 2016.
However, Watson unexpectedly backed the move at the NEC meeting, prompting fears from some in the party that a female candidate who supported a second Brexit referendum would place fresh pressure on the leader over the issue.
Who’s really playing factional games?
THE CHORUS of dismay directed at Wirral West delegate Angela Marincowitz-Skillen’s decision to withdraw the proposal for an elected joint deputy leader suggests she was right.
Her fear that Labour’s rump of anti-Corbyn prejudice might use an election to offer up a “People’s Vote” candidate to embarrass the leadership cannot be easily dismissed.
Current deputy leader Tom Watson’s announcement that he was “very disappointed” by Marincowitz-Skillen’s withdrawal of her proposal after speaking in favour of the principle and that he blames “hard left” activists speaks volumes.
Labour’s plan for female deputy leader collapses, triggering accusations of dirty tricks by Corbyn’s team
‘The hard left were scared a moderate would win, scared of party democracy’
The motion was suddenly withdrawn by the local branch that had proposed it, amid angry claims that the leader’s office feared the rise of a potential rival.
Angela Rayner, the independent-minded shadow education secretary, was seen as the frontrunner for the new role – which would have put her in pole position to take the Labour crown.
Labour left drop plan for female deputy after Tom Watson backs idea
Tom Watson has seen off an attempt to sideline him with the election of a second female deputy leader — by warmly welcoming the prospect.
Jeremy Corbyn’s allies withdrew the attempt, fulminating at the “sectarian game” being played out over the proposed new post at Labour’s conference in Liverpool today.
The motion, tabled by the left-controlled Wirral West, was intended to force Mr Watson into opposing a new deputy and further damaging his standing with party members.
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