Prime Minister loses high stakes gamble says Labour deputy leader

Tom Watson

The Prime Minister’s reputation has been completely undermined by the general election and may never recover, deputy leader of the Labour Party Tom Watson has said.

Speaking shortly after being re-elected to represent the West Bromwich East constituency, Mr Watson said the Prime Minister had gambled and lost in a high stakes game.

Despite past criticisms of his party’s leader, he said Jeremy Corbyn had cut through the demonising campaign mounted against him by certain parts of the media but Mrs May would come to profoundly regret her opportunism.

“The next few days are likely to be very uncertain but what it certain is that Theresa May’s reputation is completely undermined and may never recover,” he said.

Despite past criticisms from many within the Labour Party about Mr Corbyn’s leadership, he said it would now be very foolish for any Labour MPs to want to step aside.

“Jeremy Corbyn is safe whatever the result having already campaigned and won two leadership elections,” he said.

“However, the same cannot be said for the Conservatives and I can see Boris Johnson sharpening the knife for Theresa May.”

He said his own party had benefitted from a very positive campaign and many of its supporters had reacted positively to what Labour had had to say.

He said Jeremy Corbyn had opened up the campaign and had won the major arguments, while voters had failed to be convinced by the Prime Minister’s pledges on issues such as the health service, security, the plight of pensioners and social care, while the idea the election had been a referendum on leadership was now very wide of the mark.