Tom Watson takes aim at Labour's 'hard left factions' as he is re-selected in West Bromwich
Tom Watson hit out at Labour's "hard left factions" as he was re-selected as the party's candidate for West Bromwich East at the next general election.
The Labour deputy leader was chosen unanimously by local party members at a meeting last night, after which he accused Corbynite activists of attempting to "destabilise" his work.
He has been the MP for the constituency since 2001 and currently has a majority of 7,713.
At the election Mr Watson is set to face competition from pro-Brexit, pro-Corbyn independent candidate George Galloway.
WATCH: George Galloway interviewed in West Bromwich
Mr Watson said: “In tough times for Labour I’m incredibly grateful to local party members who have put their faith in me again.
"To get the unanimous support of all ward parties and affiliate members is a real boost, particularly when all the hard left factions are doing their utmost to destabilise our work.
“Sandwell residents deserve a Labour government that is on their side, with safe streets, strong defence, decent schools and hospitals, good pay and secure work. I’ll continue to fight for their interests as long as I can.”
Mr Watson has been accused by some sections of his party of being a thorn in the side of Jeremy Corbyn, having criticised the Labour leadership's handling of anti-Semitism complaints.
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He has also gone against Mr Corbyn's policy on Brexit, leading calls for Labour to back Remain in a second EU referendum.
Chair of West Bromwich East Labour Party, John Giles, said: “We are very pleased Tom has been re-selected as the Labour candidate for our area.
"The local party is fully behind him and we’re now getting to work listening to residents and campaigning for the general election.”