Community tributes paid to ‘strong ally’ Tom Watson after shock resignation
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Community tributes paid to ‘strong ally’ Tom Watson after shock resignation

Jewish groups thanked Labour's deputy leader on social media after he announced his decision to stand down

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson. Photo credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire
Labour deputy leader Tom Watson. Photo credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Tributes were paid in the community to Tom Watson after the “strong ally” stood down as an MP and deputy leader on Wednesday evening.

The deputy leader, elected to the position in 2015, will remain in his post until polling day on 12 December.

Watson, who has served West Bromwich East since 2001, said he will remain “as committed to Labour as ever.”

He said he hoped to “start a different kind of life” and that his decision was ” personal, not political”.

Watson has been a vocal critic of Labour’s handling of antisemitism complaints and clashed with party leader Jeremy Corbyn on the issue.

Tributes poured in on social media praising his support for the community following the news of his resignation.

The Jewish Labour Movement described the decision as “shocking and saddening” and thanked Watson for being a “strong ally in the fight against antisemitism in the Labour Party.”

Meanwhile, Labour Friends of Israel thanked Watson for his “steadfast opposition to antisemitism and support for the State of Israel.”

“At a immensely difficult time, your solidarity meant a huge amount to so many in the Jewish community. You have been a true friend and will be sorely missed,” the group added.

Similarly, the actor Tracy-Ann Oberman told Watson that she was “sorry you are standing down. You’ve stood for more moderate and kinder @UKLabour.”

“On a personal note you’ve been an incredible ally and support to me in fighting anti Jewish racism and misogyny. I wish you weren’t going,” she added. 

In his response to Watson, Corbyn said he was “proud and glad to have worked with you over these four years, and I know this is not the end of our work together.”

Corbyn added that he enjoyed “their convivial chats about many things, including cycling, exercising and horticulture.”

“I hope the horseradish plants I gave you thrive,” he added.

 

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