ANDREW PIERCE: Tom Watson attacks Jeremy Corbyn and his ‘Stalinist cabal’
One of the worst kept secrets at Westminster was the antipathy between former Labour deputy leader Tom Watson and his then boss Jeremy Corbyn.
But only now, after Labour’s worst defeat since 1935, is Watson revealing quite how much he despised Corbyn.
Accusing the former Labour leader of running a ‘Stalinist operation’, he singles out Corbyn’s powerful communications secretary Seumas Milne, who was educated at Winchester College (fees: £42,000 a year).
‘It always amazed me that an avowed Stalinist-Communist would be a Labour Party member, let alone director of communications for the leader of the Labour Party.’
One of the worst kept secrets at Westminster was the antipathy between former Labour deputy leader Tom Watson (pictured) and his then boss Jeremy Corbyn
Speaking on the Last Call podcast, Watson goes on to say the ‘guy that freaked me out most’ was Andrew Murray, who was hired by Milne.
Murray was a lifelong Communist until he joined Labour after the election of Corbyn in 2015 as the party leader.
‘He was hardcore Stalinist and at the very heart of decisionmaking in the Labour Party,’ says Watson.
‘That cabal have a lot of responsibility for creating the internal political tensions, but also for the programme that millions of working people in Britain didn’t buy into.’
Watson could, of course, have done the honourable thing and resigned. Instead, he waited until the last election before quitting, and accepted a peerage nomination from Corbyn.
Mercifully, it’s been blocked because of his role in promoting the fantasist Carl Beech, who invented the VIP Westminster paedophile ring.
Gyles Brandreth at the Oldie of the Year Awards, London, Britain – 02 Feb 2016
Former Tory MP-turned-author and oneman show performer Gyles Brandreth boasts that actress Jane Asher was the ‘first beautiful woman to sleep in my bed’. Chivalry then gets the better of him: ‘Maddeningly I was elsewhere.’ Brandreth was at Oxford and Asher was in a play. ‘She came to a ball at my college. Exhausted, she needed somewhere to kip, so I lent her my room and bed.’
James Graham’s award-winning Channel 4 film, Brexit: The Uncivil War, starred Benedict Cumberbatch as Dominic Cummings. Graham reflected last week: ‘You have to think, two years ago people had never heard of Dominic Cummings.’ The PM must be wishing they hadn’t now.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during First Minster’s Questions (FMQ’s) in the debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh
Sturgeon’s fishy approach
An unlikely show of support for Boris Johnson’s handling of the coronavirus comes from Labour’s Scottish spokesman Ian Murray. In a video conference call with a London-based Labour branch, Murray said: ‘Boris gets the blame and not S NP First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.’ Murray went on to explain that the situation in Scotland is ‘worse than what’s happening in England’. He’s right. In mid-May, the Office of National Statistics reported that deaths in care homes in England were 21pc, in Wales, 25pc, but Scotland 45pc. Sturgeon’s response? She disputes the English figures.
Has departing BBC directorgeneral Tony Hall hardwired himself into the broadcaster’s future? Beeb, the BBC’s rival to Amazon’s Alexa, speaks with a ‘male, warm Northern voice’. Many in the corporation believe the softened North-West vowels are modelled on, who else, but Lord Hall
Tim Davie, the new BBC director-general, is a trustee of the Tate Gallery and chairman of its Modern Advisory Council. The BBC board’s Nominations Committee, which chose him as Lord Hall’s successor, included Sir Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate for 29 years. Was this fortuitous confluence of circumstance declared before the board’s interviews?
‘So if I come begging with take-me-back eyes, all you have to tell me is blueberry pies,’ tweets a wistful Tim Farron. Does this mean the former Lib Dem leader is planning a shock comeback in the party leadership contest which is being conducted online. It appears not. Farron was quoting Prefab Sprout lyrics during a virtual party where everyone was listening to his favourite band’s second album, Steve McQueen.
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