Watson’s resignation. Fascinating. What does it mean?
Watson is a great paradox. The evil Brownite who brought down the finest Labour Prime Minister but also a genuinely nice bloke. Often attributed with superhuman powers of fixing things, he has failed to fix a high position for himself.
I was told a year or so ago that he wanted to be deputy leader of the party. What he ended up with was deputy chairman of the Labour Party and membership of the shadow cabinet. And now he is a backbench Labour MP.
The important sentence in his colourful resignation letter is this one:
I offered my resignation on Tuesday and you asked me to reconsider.
This was obviously designed to pre-empt the suggestion that Ed Miliband had sacked him, as urged by Dan Hodges on Monday. It was, as one shadow minister told me, “disloyal”. A want of loyalty to the Labour leader that Watson has displayed before.
As a Blairite, I can only assume that Watson’s departure will be beneficial to the Labour Party in the long run. But its immediate effect is simply to reinforce the image of Ed Miliband – already seriously alarming much of the Parliamentary Labour Party – that he is a weak leader.
Picture of Labour’s chances at the next election from Our Beautiful Worlded miliband, labour party, tom watson
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