Corbynistas keen on campaign to kick Tom Watson

Written by James Millar on 6 August 2018 in Diary

Seems some social media campaigns are more popular than others among Labour supporters

In an effort to tackle the anti-semitism row currently engulfing the Labour party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn activists organised a Twitter thunderclap in his support last week. The idea was that lots of people would tweet using the hashtag #WeAreCorbyn and get it trending, sending a message that they back the Labour leader despite the barage of criticism he has received for his handling of anti-semitism allegations and the current campaign to get the party to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's definition of the issue.

Although many supporters took part just three frontbenchers joined in - close Corbyn comrades Diane Abbott and John McDonnell and shadow education secretary Angela Rayner, who is often talked up as a possible successor. 

In contrast, after deputy Labour leader Tom Watson was quoted in The Observer warning that the party risked "eternal shame and embarrassment" if it didn't deal with the perception that the party is anti-semitic, the #ResignWatson hashtag was the number one trending topic in the UK. Watson also said the party leadership should drop disciplinary action against MPs Ian Austin and Margaret Hodge who are being investigated after apparently accusing senior party figures of failing on the issue.

High profile Corbyn supporters like Aaron Bastani, George Galloway and alternative news site Skwawkbox all tweeted in support of the campaign to persuade Watson to quit his role.

Corbyn did not make any comment and few frontbenchers seem to have sprung to Watson's defence. Only shadow sports minister Rosena Allin-Khan expressed her disappointment describing it as a "sad day" given the deputy leader was being urged to resign for suggesting the party ought to tackle anti-semitism.

However Watson himself was fairly relaxed about the storm following his interview:

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