Sadiq Khan denies Tom Watson resigned to cause Labour damage

PUBLISHED: 13:45 07 November 2019 | UPDATED: 13:45 07 November 2019

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. Photo: Vickie Flores

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. Photo: Vickie Flores

Vickie Flores

The mayor of London said he believes Tom Watson did not intend to damage Labour by stepping down as the party's deputy leader on day one of their election campaign.

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Speaking to Sadiq Khan, LBC Radio host James O'Brien said: "Deputy leader of the Labour party, day one of the campaign, it seems he wanted to inflict maximum damage possible on the leader while simultaneously maintaining it was a personal, not political decision.

Khan said that Watson was a personal friend of his, and added he believed his resignation was "genuinely for personal reasons", claiming the timing was not relevant.

"I'm hoping Tom will speak more about this over the coming days and you'll see him campaigning for a Labour government lead by Jeremy Corbyn.

"What's clear is Tom is 52-years-old, and he wants to make changes in his personal life and the job that he does and I wish him all the best. I am sure we will see more of Tom Watson in public life and in the exciting projects he wants to do going forward."

READ MORE: Tom Watson quits as deputy leader of Labour and steps down as MP



Khan added he sent a private text to the former deputy leader, who stepped down on Wednesday after 35 years in full-time politics.

O'Brien also asked Khan about Ian Austin, who stepped down as a Labour MP and declared people should vote for Boris Johnson.

"He has big concerns about the Labour party lead by Jeremy Corbyn, where I agree with Ian Austin is his concerns about the Labour Party's failure to tackle quickly enough concerns around anti-Semitism.

"I think Ian's right we have acted too slow as a party to deal with that, I do disagree with his advice to vote for Boris Johnson."

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