Ed Miliband’s letter in response to Tom Watson’s resignation

July 4, 2013 5:27 pm

Dear Tom,

Thank you for your letter. As I said to you when we spoke at lunchtime today, I do believe that it does now make sense for you and for the Party for you to step down.

I am enormously grateful to you for the work you have done for the Party in the past two years. As Deputy Chair you have helped to re-galvanise the grass roots of the Party. You have worked with Party staff up and down the country, through two sets of local elections and a record number of by-elections, to get Labour into a position to fight and win the General Election in 2015.

As you acknowledge we still have a long way to go, but you have helped to put real spirit into Labour Party activists up and down the country. And I know you will carry on doing that from the backbenches. You came into politics to campaign, often on issues that some would be shy to confront – phone hacking being a prime example. I also respect your desire to be free to do that without the constraints of your current role and responsibilities, both in the Party and in the Shadow Cabinet.

I am grateful to you for your loyalty and friendship. You are a formidable campaigner, passionate about the cause of a fairer country, and I know you will be speaking with eloquence from the backbenches on the issues you care about most.

Ed Miliband

  • rekrab

    Well Ed, if you’ve given up mingling with the festival crowds you could always tune in and listen to a good tune?

Latest

  • Featured Scotland Friendship and solidarity must prevail, as the fog clears

    Friendship and solidarity must prevail, as the fog clears

    The air hangs thick this morning with the referendum. Last night a deep fog rolled down across Edinburgh, but in reality it is the campaign which has blotted the vision and stopped even the keenest of observers from seeing what lies just a few footsteps ahead. The final days has provided one crucial clarification though – the No campaign is capable of great passion and powerful rhetoric. Mocked, endlessly criticised, a reputation dragged through the muck. Despite it all – […]

    Read more →
  • News Scottish Referendum – The Liveblog

    Scottish Referendum – The Liveblog

    Are you campaigning in Scotland today? Send us your stories (named or anonymous) to elections@labourlist.org – and we’ll run the pick of them on the liveblog. 14.39: Update from Mark: “After campaigning in Leith this afternoon, I popped over to the Better Together office there to speak to campaigners and grab a cup of tea. After a few minutes I stepped outside to check some messages and make some phone calls. And that was when someone spat at me. He […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured Scotland Please don’t go

    Please don’t go

    I’m pretty well known for writing from a personal perspective. So I thought a column comparing the pain I feel about the referendum to the pain of my divorce would be easy to write. maybe a little trite even. How can this compare to that kind of personal pain? Well, it does. Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does. I feel like a lover treading on eggshells desperate to please. I really, really don’t want Scotland to leave me. So yes, […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Scotland Solidarity – a view from South of the border

    Solidarity – a view from South of the border

    “Solidarity” has always been a special word for me. But it has never been an easy one to define. Loyalty, unity, mutual support; all of those come into it but none of them quite sums the word up properly. Somehow solidarity is the “whole” that is more than the sum of its parts. But however difficult solidarity may be to define, you know when you see it and you know it when you experience it. As a trade unionist and […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Bring your old football kit to conference

    Bring your old football kit to conference

    Every football fan has got a favourite football strip. That kit your team wore when they won the Cup, or the first game you went to, the season you got promoted, or the first year you had a season ticket. I’ve got more football tops than I’d care to admit – Athletic Bilbao, Kaizer Chiefs, Brazil, Scotland, South Africa, for some reason Motherwell and Middlesbrough. I also have a couple belonging to a team from Glasgow that play in green […]

    Read more →