Tom Watson faced social media backlash after he appeared to dismiss questions on the Labour Party’s performance in the general elections in December and the future of the party. Some Twitter users questioned why the former deputy leader of the Opposition was invited to appear on BBC Breakfast after Mr Watson announced he would step back from political life after his resignation in November. One user commented on his appearance on TV screens: “So you’re not going to say what went wrong with Labour’s campaign, you won’t comment on Corbyn’s leadership and you refuse to say who should be Labour’s next leader.
“Get off the screen Tom Watson.”
Another wrote: “What is the point of Tom Watson appearing on BBC Breakfast and saying nothing, especially as he does keep saying he’s not now in politics?”
One user suggested Mr Watson’s interview on the BBC flagship show further highlighted the lack of a clear position within the Labour movement: “What’s the point of this Tom Watson interview?
“More lack of a position from a senior Labour figure.”
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Another social media user suggested the former senior Labour had wanted to focus the interview on his work to fight back against Diabetes 2. Mr Watson was diagnosed with the disease a few years ago and consequently lost weight to lower the impact of the high blood sugar condition.
The user wrote: “Tom Watson (ex-Labour Party deputy leader) on BBC Breakfast says he could but won’t explain why Labour lost the last election as he is now and ex-politician.
“Clearly wanted to talk about type 2 diabetes. Not sure why he was invited.”
And another said: “Tom Watson dodging the question Big Time! #BBCBreakfast.”
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BBC Breakfast host Charlie Stayt also challenged Mr Watson over his refusal to answer questions despite claiming to know how to.
Asked about what Jeremy Corbyn had “done wrong” in the run-up to the general election, the former deputy leader said: “Well, I think that’s for him to explain what he thinks…”
But Mr Stayt immediately intervened: “Well you’re the deputy leader and to be honest people will expect you to know that.
“Why can’t you answer that question?”
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Mr Watson hit back: “No, I have given you a very honest answer, it’s not that I can’t answer that question, it means I am not answering that question –
But Mr Stayt pushed: “Because you don’t want to.”
The former senior Labour MP continued: “I’ve got very great personal affection for Jeremy and I have absolutely no intention of walking back into an internal row in the Labour party and politics having just taken a life decision to leave politics after 35 years on the front line.
“It’s not my job anymore. I’m an ex-politician, I’m the most chilled out person you will ever meet and I’m not going to do the day-to-day stuff.”
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