As the fight for Labour’s deputy leadership rages on, West Midlands contender Tom Watson has thrown his name into the hat with an appeal to Manchester voters.
The MP for West Bromwich East wrote in a passionate email to voters across the region this morning that he has the ‘track record you’d expect from a deputy leadership candidate’.
Mr Watson will be up against a raft of Labour stalwarts including Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy, ex-GMTV presenter Gloria de Piero and the George Galloway-ousting Rushanara Ali.
With nominations for the role of deputy leader closing on Wednesday and the ballot set for mid-August, the new Labour second-in-command will be decided before the party’s annual conference in September.
In his email to voters, Tom said: “My pitch for the deputy leadership is simple: fresh ideas, genuine honesty and unparalleled campaign experience.
“I’ve got the track record you’d expect from a Deputy Leadership candidate. But I don’t just see the world from Westminster, and I don’t just talk a good game.”
Referring to his campaigning in 109 constituencies up and down the country, including ‘many in Greater Manchester’, he said his campaign has won the support of Labour and trade union voters.
“I’ve fought some real battles outside Parliament too, leading successful campaigns to expose the hacking scandal and high-level child abuse cover-ups.
“It hasn’t always been easy, but I believe we’re at our best when we stand up for those who don’t have a voice.”
Mr Watson admitted the election was a ‘terrible blow’ and spoke of the ‘huge task ahead’ in reimagining the party’s image to create a ‘vision that connects with the millions of voters who have left us since 2005’.
“I want to write an election battle plan that wins in 2020. My plan is a simple one – to make us the finest campaigning party the country has ever seen.
“We have been before, and we will be again.”
Image courtesy of Magnus D, with inset from BBC, via YouTube, with thanks