Jeremy Corbyn's position is '˜completely secure', says Tom Watson

LABOUR'S deputy leader Tom Watson has said Jeremy Corbyn's position is 'completely secure' following rifts between factions in the party since his election nearly two years ago.
Labour has performed strongly in polls following last months general election. Picture: GettyLabour has performed strongly in polls following last months general election. Picture: Getty
Labour has performed strongly in polls following last months general election. Picture: Getty

The West Bromwich East MP added that while the party had won over large swathes of voters in inner-city areas, those belonging to the traditional working class needed reassurance to return to the party.

Labour has performed strongly in polls following last month’s general election with a Opinium survey for the Observer putting the party at 45 per cent, compared with 39 per cent for the Tories, while a poll by Survation had the Tories on 41 per cent and Labour at 40 per cent.

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In the June 8 general election, Labour also got 40 per cent of the vote.

Mr Watson told the Observer: “I think everyone knows now, Jeremy’s position is completely secure as leader.

“He has had a unified PLP (parliamentary Labour party) around him since his second election win, more or less, and now he has got a highly enthused PLP around him, to take him through the years ahead.”

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Mr Watson added that a majority was possible for the party - and that it had to reassure working-class voters on issues such as policing and security.

He told the paper: “If we can bring these young voters, enthuse them to stay with us and then give greater reassurance to our traditional working-class voters, some of whom left us on issues like policing and security, then we’ve got an election-winning alliance, and I think it is an unbeatable one.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do, but I can see a way through.”

He added the party was preparing to have a “busy summer” as it focuses on working marginal seats, after Mr Corbyn visited Amber Rudd’s ultra-marginal constituency of Hastings and Rye on Saturday where the Home Secretary has a majority of just 346 votes.

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Meanwhile Mr Watson’s fellow West Midlands MP Jess Phillips has said her decision to vote for Chuka Umunna’s amendment on single market membership should not be considered a rebellion against Mr Corbyn.

She wrote in the Observer: “We live in a time when the way I tie my shoelaces can somehow be misconstrued as an attack on Jeremy Corbyn.

“ Let me be clear, nobody press-ganged me to vote for or against it on either side.

“My constituents voted leave, I respect that, so I voted to trigger article 50, but I’ll be damned if I am going to let Tories decide what a good Brexit looks like for my constituents.”