Published on 2 Jun 2009

First Jacqui Smith, now Tom Watson is stepping down

Oops. There goes another one.

Tom Watson, the Cabinet Office minister and one of the prime minister’s most trusted advisers, has told Gordon Brown that he wants to stand down from the government. He will stay on as an MP.

Tom Watson is known as a blogger, former whip, a man who knows the Labour Party inside out but also as the junior defence minister who organised a round robin letter calling on Tony Blair to stand down in 2006.

Mr Blair called it an act of gross disloyalty and Mr Blair’s allies always thought that Mr Watson was acting on Gordon Brown’s behalf.

Tom Watson was linked by newspapers with the Damian McBride email smear story and although he won damages against a newspaper he’s believed to think his young family has suffered enough from the publicity and it is time to stand back from the front line.

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7 reader comments

  1. Anthony Martin says:

    The public would have been pushing him out anyway.
    I must be better at doing Tom Watsons job, because I’d be telling Gordon Brown to step down now, alongside all the rest of the hanger-oners.
    The whole political system is in ruins. Very simply because of human deceit, greed, manipulation, lies and arrogance.
    All these MPs standing down should NOT be getting ‘golden goodbye’ payoffs, Peerages, Lucrative fat pension pots and, other back hander perks.
    Britain in is the depths of disgrace and will remain so until politics is radically overhauled and made 100% transparent and accountable 24/7 365.4 per yr.

    1. Tom says:

      If you want politics more transparent, then Tom Watson is actually exactly the man you want in there. No one in government is more respected among the transparency geeks who build things like theyworkforyou, and he’s done a lot of work on opening up government data.

  2. Ray Turner says:

    I’m convinced Labour are having a clear-out before the ballot, to try to forestall the looming disaster.

    The best way of doing that of course, would be for Gordon Brown to announce he is steping down, before Thursday…

  3. Ray Turner says:

    And now I read that SNP and Plaid Cymru have tabled a motion requesting dissolution of Parliament. Good on them. It’s the right thing to do now. My only disappointment is that Cameron and Cleggy haven’t already done that. The minor parties seem to have more balls than the official opposition…

    My biggest hope now, is that all MP’s, espescially the good-egg Labour Backbenchers, properly research their constituents wishes and vote accordingly.

    The country has suffered MP’s and Government looking after their own interests for far too long. It is time for a change…

  4. Bernard Docta says:

    Politics is about you serving yourselves and not the country.Good talk is cheap but when tempted you cannot refrain from double or triple claiming the benefits can you? Disband you all/ nobody is worthy of an election.You all need to be sanitised

  5. @molesworth_1 says:

    Welcome to the fray, Gary.
    Do you tweet?

    1. Blog editor says:

      You can follow new posts on Gary’s blog with this Twitter feed: @garygibbonblog.

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