Tom Watson survives bid to oust him as Labour deputy leader but could still face the boot when the party's National Executive meets tomorrow

  • A motion had been proposed by Jon Lansman to abolish post of deputy leader
  • The chair of the committee ruled the motion should be thrown out last night
  • Members voted 17 to 10 to overturn decision but did not reach majority needed
  • The proposal is now likely to go back on the committee's agenda on Saturday 

Tom Watson has survived a bid to oust him as deputy leader, but could still face the boot when the party's ruling body meets on Saturday.

At a meeting of Labour's National Executive Committee last night, Jon Lansman 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 of the committee 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.

Labour's deputy leader Tom Watson (pictured last week) has publicly clashed with Jeremy Corbyn on a number of occasions

Labour's deputy leader Tom Watson (pictured last week) has publicly clashed with Jeremy Corbyn on a number of occasions

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 (pictured together last 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 (pictured together last year)

The moves to oust him were labelled 'mad' and 'f***ing insane' by Labour MPs.

Former leader Ed Miliband said those responsible had 'taken leave of their senses'.

He said: 'The move to abolish the deputy leader post without warning or debate is undemocratic, wrong and should not happen.

'Those who came up with the idea for the eve of Labour conference have taken leave of their senses.'

Ex-minister Yvette Cooper tweeted: 'This is completely mad and incredibly destructive. Country faces serious challenges & General Election could be imminent. @UKLabour conference shd be about country & about pulling together. Instead we get this.'

Former Cabinet minister Ben Bradshaw said the attempt to 'purge' Mr Watson was 'totally f***ing insane'.

Tottenham MP David Lammy said: 'Tribal infighting in the middle of a Boris Johnson-inspired national emergency makes me want to weep.

'My constituents and millions of others across the country desperately need the Labour party united right now. The Tories, not Tom Watson, are our opponents. Let's fight them.'

A source close to Mr Watson told PA the situation was 'completely outrageous'. 

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

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.

Mr Corbyn, pictured addressing a climate change rally in London today, will this weekend travel to Brighton for Labour's annual conference

Mr Corbyn, pictured addressing a climate change rally in London today, will this weekend travel to Brighton for Labour's annual conference

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.

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.  

Labour's NEC is to consider abolishing the post of deputy party leader on Saturday after a bid to get rid of the post failed at a meeting on Friday.

The latest Ipsos MORI survey found that just 16 per cent are satisfied with Jeremy Corbyn's performance, compared to 76 per cent who are dissatisfied - giving a net rating of minus 60

The latest Ipsos MORI survey found that just 16 per cent are satisfied with Jeremy Corbyn's performance, compared to 76 per cent who are dissatisfied - giving a net rating of minus 60

The new comes as Jeremy Corbyn was tonight revealed to be the most unpopular Opposition leader ever, according to a new poll.

And comes ahead of the Labour leader preparing to face an all-out Remainer rebellion at his party's annual conference.

The veteran left-winger's net rating of minus 60 is below that of his hero Michael Foot who led Labour to disaster in the early 1980s and whose hard-left 1983 general election manifesto was described as the 'longest suicide note in history'.  

The latest Ipsos MORI survey found that just 16 per cent of voters are satisfied with Mr Corbyn's performance, compared to 76 per cent who are dissatisfied - giving him a net rating of minus 60. 

Labour's annual gathering kicks off in Brighton this weekend, with Mr Corbyn under intense pressure to shift position on Brexit.

He has already bowed to demands from senior figures including Keir Starmer, John McDonnell and Emily Thornberry for the party's next manifesto to promise a second referendum on any deal with the EU.

But Mr Corbyn has so far resisted saying he would campaign for Remain in that national vote.

Tom Watson survives bid to oust him as Labour deputy leader but could still face the boot tomorrow 

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