Tom Watson, the elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party as of September 2015, appeared on The Andrew Marr Show to discuss the pre-eminent futures of Brexit, Labour polling and Jeremy Corbyn this past week. Following a “difficult few months”, the Labour party have grappled somewhat with maintaining stability within the party and are currently looking on to the future with Article 50 and Labour leadership.
“We’ve got an uphill struggle ahead,” Watson declared, “but we can focus on developing a very positive, clear message to the British people and the general election.”
Watson did not hesitate to remind Marr of Corbyn’s previous electoral successes in the past, forewarning that not only was now “not the time for a leadership election”, but also that Corbyn was now the “established leader of the Labour Party”.
Having been elected the Labour Party’s leader back in 2015, Corbyn did not struggle to defeat opponent and critic Owen Smith’s challenge last year. Winning 61.8% of the vote, Mr Corbyn is emphatically “settled” in his unprecendented role as leader.
When asked whether he thought it was possible for the Labour Party to win the election in this country, Watson responsed with conviction: “We can certainly win a general election, there’s a lot of work we need to do”.
Despite having fallen exorbitantally behind an already unpopular Theresa May, Mr Watson maintained that Corbyn’s security as leader was “strong” and that the party shall “address the concerns of the British people in the manifesto”.
This week’s YouGov/Times political opinion poll figures see the Conservatives on 40%, wielding an almost identical value as the week before, and Labour on 26%. Currently, Labour fall behind by 14 points.
Andrew Marr suggested that as of late Jeremy Corbyn is the “most unpopular” choice for Labour leadership, though Tom Watson eliminated rumours that the party were testing for more popular candidates: “I’m absolutely sure that that hasn’t been the case and isn’t the case”.
While the majority of the Labour Party largely petitioned for the UK to remain within the European Union in June last year, Jeremy Corbyn remains strong on the front that his MPs must vote in favour of Article 50. Though chiefly disagreeing with the ultimate result, his imposed three-line whip reflects the importance of the will of the British people.
A large number of Labour MPs have since voted against these orders, the shadow business secretary – Clive Lewis – even going as far as resigning from the front bench.
Though the great Labour parliament seems little more than a fragment of the past, Watson maintains that Labour is exceedingly a “patriotic party”.
Tom Watson told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show that “people need a Labour party”. He remarked that the wanted to “reduce inequality” and “give greater opportunity to everyone, not just the few”.