Labour's deputy leader says he "hope we never get to a point" where such a government is needed—but reveals he has been approached by Conservative MPsby Prospect Team / March 29, 2019 / Leave a comment
Labour Deputy Leader Tom Watson has suggested that the time may come for a government of national unity, “if needs must.”
Speaking to Kevin Maguire for Prospect magazine, Watson said: “Like Ernie Bevin I prefer Labour governments and I hope we never get to a point where our economy or security is so in peril that we get a government of national unity.”
He then added: “if needs must, we have to then do what’s right.”
Maguire also quotes “close confidants” of Watson who claim that pro-European Tories have approached him about serving in such a government.
The comments will raise fresh concerns across Labour’s left, where resistance to Watson’s deputy leadership has been growing in response to what some have seen as attacks on leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Most recently, Watson invited members submitting complaints about alleged anti-semitism in the party to copy him into their e-mails to make up for what he suggests have been “inadequate” attempts to deal with the issue.
The notion of a “government of a national unity” has been touted with increased frequency as the Brexit deadlock has continued—from both the left and the right.
After the breakaway of eight Labour and three Conservative MPs to create a new “Independent Group,” Watson released a Facebook video expressing sympathy for their decision.
As Maguire writes,
‘Then he launched the Future Britain Group to rally MPs in the centre and on the right of the party—immediately gathering 130 Labour MPs to his cause. This triggered a frequently heard question in Westminster: “What is Tommy up to?”’
Read the full profile now.