Tom Watson: Momentum plot could "destroy the Labour party"

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson branded the plot'entryism and said it was an attempt by the left-wing faction to take over the party

One shadow cabinet source joked to MailOnline that the leader and his allies suffer "nosebleeds" if they leave the capital.

The comments appear to be a watering down of ambitions since last month when he suggested the situation could be turned around "over the next 12 months".

It emerged, March 19, that Jon Lansman, the leader and founder of the grassroots organization Momentum has told his supporters that it is likely to win the backing of Unite - which has 1.3 million members - if its current leader Len McCluskey wins a further term in the upcoming union election, which will then enable it to take control of Labour, moving the party further to the left.

In their darkest moments, moderate Labour MPs would console themselves with the thought that the hard-left pro-Corbyn factions in their party were not terribly well organised. Dragging the party into this is disappointing'.

Christine Shawcroft, a member of Momentum who sits on the party's National Executive Council, said Labour's MPs could not have a "veto" on the wishes of the membership when the time came to electing Mr Corbyn's successor.

PoliticsHome has now been passed a recording of his full speech to the meeting in Richmond, west London, earlier this month.

"I think this is a concerted attempt to interfere in the internal election in Unite for general secretary, which is really shocking".

Mr Watson - who is joining the rest of the shadow cabinet on what promises to be a tense away day - added: "I'm not sure if Jeremy knows there's a secret plan".

An apparent plan by the leftwing Momentum organisation to take control of Labour amounts to "a battle for the future existence" of the party, Tom Watson has said, urging Labour members to combat the threat. This is high stakes.

"Jon Lansman outlined a hard left plan to control the Labour party after Jeremy's departure..."

Mr Watson said he wanted Mr Corbyn to "deal with" Mr Lansman.

Mr Lansman said: "For 20 years the Left was denied a voice". We will deny a voice to no-one. There are no plans whatsoever for Unite to affiliate to Momentum, as has, again, been made repeatedly clear.

On Sunday, the group insisted it had no plans to affilliate with Unite and said it had not received any funds from them. "For the record, Len McCluskey has never met Jon Lansman to discuss this or any other matter". It recognised the right of groups across the spectrum of Labour's broad church to discuss their views and try to influence the party so long as they operate within the rules.

The leader and deputy leader released a joint statement after fresh in-fighting broke out in Labour.

He also discusses an affiliation with the Unite union, the largest trade union in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

"It is not a question of anyone disaffiliating from the Labour Party and affiliating to Momentum instead".

It was vital for Labour and Unite members who opposed Momentum's ambition to take action, Watson said. "If you succeed you will destroy the Labour Party as an electoral force, so you have to be stopped", Watson told Lansman over Twitter.



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