Len McCluskey calls for female deputy Labour leader in fresh swipe at Tom Watson

Posted On: 
12th September 2017

Len McCluskey has ramped up his feud with Tom Watson by calling for Labour to bring in a female deputy leader to work alongside him.

Len McCluskey has been embroiled in a feud with Tom Watson in recent months
PA Images

The Unite boss said it would be a "good idea" to improve gender balance at the top of the party.

The former flatmates' relationship broke down following the attempt to unseat Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader last summer.

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On Sunday Mr McCluskey spoke of his “sadness” at the demise of their friendship, and accused Mr Watson of taking part in "a stupid and rather sinister coup".

Appearing on Radio Four's Today programme this morning, the trade union chief said: “I think there’s a debate at the moment that says it would be good to have two deputies – one male and one female."

When asked explicitly if the new deputy should work as an equal to Mr Watson, he said: "I think that sounds a good idea to me."

Mr McCluskey was also asked to clarify who he saw as the “traitors” within Labour, following comments he made at a recent rally.

He said: "Oh well I think you know who I’m referring to, I don’t want to rerun all of the arguments over the last two years, but all of those people that sought, since Jeremy Corbyn was elected by a massive landslide two years ago, to knife him in the back almost every single day, they’re the traitors."

When asked whether this included MPs, he said: “Yes, of course it does”.

A source close to Mr Watson said: "We're not engaging with this nonsense."