Tom Watson announces resignation as deputy Labour leader and MP
The West Bromwich East MP wrote to Jeremy Corbyn last night, saying he had taken “the very difficult decision” to resign.
He said he would stay on as deputy leader until December 12 and do everything he could to “return a team of bright, progressive Labour MP’s".
“I joined in 1982 and never imagined that one day a kid from Kidderminster would be the party's Deputy Leader,” the resignation letter reads.
“I will continue to champion progressive social democracy and a political culture that is inclusive, diverse and respects the opinions of others."
Mr Watson said that although he was leaving Westminster, he was not leaving politics altogether.
Responding to Watson’s resignation, Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn wrote: “I want to sincerely thank you on behalf of everyone in our movement for your contribution to this Party over the last 30 years."
“Few people have given as much to the Labour movement as you have, and I know that many thousands of members and trade unionists that you have inspired and worked with over the years will be very sorry to see you go."
“Being an MP and Deputy Leader of our Party is far more than a job and I understand how difficult this decision has been for you to make and how deeply you have thought about it."
“I respect your conclusion that it is in the best interests of you and your family that you stand down.”
Watson has clashed with Jeremy Corbyn in the past, mainly over Brexit and the party’s handling of antisemitism.
During this year’s Labour party conference in September, there was a bid by those at the left of the party to abolish Watson’s post which ultimately failed.
There will now be an election to replace Watson as deputy labour leader.