There is one politician, however, who is clearly enjoying conference and that’s Watson. Watson allies are delighted with how this whole affair has turned out. ‘They are the ones who are crumbling,’ says a Labour figure of the Corbynistas. ‘They can’t come at him again for a while’. Meanwhile, Labour members report of frenzied scenes when ever Watson enters a room. ‘He’s being high-fived and clapped. I’ve never witnessed him being so popular,’ says one bemused attendee. Watson received a standing ovation at the Progress rally – before and after he spoke.
Amid intense behind-the-scenes arm-twisting today, public services union Unison broke ranks to declared it will oppose the leader’s Brexit fudge.
But the Momentum pressure group appears to have handed Mr Corbyn a lifeline by signalling its activists will be in his camp, rather than with the Remainers.
In a shock split, its founder Jon Lansman made clear he did not agree with the decision, tweeting that ‚members should feel free to vote with their conscience‘.
A source close to Corbyn tells me he expects the block vote of the unions to defeat that motion on Monday when put to conference, although another source told me the two giant unions, Unison and Unite, are no longer as one and Unison may peel away from Unite and abstain.
Above the shoulder of every speaker at Labour Party conference reads a slogan: “For the many, not the few.” For decades, this has been Labour’s promise, but this week will show just how hollow their words ring.
Labour’s Brexit stance appears ever more confused at the party conference in Brighton, despite the event being seen as an opportunity to unify divided MPs.
Several members of Labour’s top team, including deputy leader Tom Watson – who survived an attempt to remove his role within the party – have spoken out in support of remaining in the EU.
Following a failed Corbynite attempt to oust Tom Watson as deputy leader, a successful attempt to give the party’s national executive committee say over any interim leader and the news that Corbyn’s top aide has quit, there’s talk that the Labour leader is on the way out. Appearing on the Andrew Marr show in Brighton this morning, Jeremy Corbyn tried his best to kibosh the idea.
Date and Time:
Sun, 22 September 2019
15:00 – 16:00 BST
Old Ship Hotel