Team Tom Watson gets its first recruit as Emma Reynolds says yes
Labour's deputy leader is convening a group of MPs from the party's social democratic wing.
What do you do if you’re a Labour MP who hates Jeremy Corbyn but you’re not quite ready to leave the party just yet?
Thankfully, Tom Watson appears to have the answer.
Appearing on the Andrew Marr show, he said there was “a crisis for the soul of the Labour Party”. In a direct challenge to Jeremy Corbyn, Labour's deputy leader has also said he would convene the first meeting of backbenchers from the party's social democratic wing this week.
In a blog on his website, he states: “I called on Jeremy to do more to unite the party and reshuffle the Shadow Cabinet to give greater weight to MPs with social democratic rather than socialist views. The need to see Labour as the broad church of its tradition is the main reason why I am convening a group of MPs this week who believe in the party's social democratic tradition to develop policies.”
The first Labour MP to have showed an interest in Watson’s new group is Emma Reynolds, who told Radio 4’s The Westminster Hour:
“I absolutely welcome it. One of the things that Tom also said this morning is that his priority is to protect pluralism in our party and the broad church that the party has always been and I do think the social democratic tradition in the party has been somewhat overlooked - that's an understatement - in the last few years.
“So I very very much welcome what Tom has set out today and I think it is an exciting new development. And I hope to be part of what he's talking about.”
Meanwhile, over at The Independent Group of breakaway Labour and Tory MPs, they have other ideas for Labour's deputy leader.
As one TIG insider put it to TP: "The big question is whether Tom will be the person that brings dosens over with him."