Tom Watson urges voters to back Labour to prevent ‘Thatcher-style landslide’

Posted On: 
13th May 2017

The deputy leader of the Labour Party has called on voters to back the Labour party top stop the Conservatives winning a landslide and dominating the next Parliament.

Tom Watson has urged voters to back Labour to prevent a "Thatcher-style" landslide.
Credit: 
PA images

Tom Watson admitted the party had “a mountain to climb” if it wanted to win a majority at the General Election, but said voting for the Labour party was the only way to keep the Tories in check.

He was optimistic about Labour’s manifesto, which he said contained some “exciting ideas”.

“I’ve run a lot of by-elections and elections in my time for the Labour party and I know what it is like. It is going be very, very difficult to turn the poll numbers around, but we are determined to do it,” Watson said in an interview with the Guardian.

Mr Watson pulled no punches when it came to outlining the future under a Conservative government with a big majority.

“If we get to 8 June and [Theresa May] still commands the lead in the polls that she had at the start of the election, she will command a Margaret Thatcher-style majority,” said Watson, referring to the former prime minister’s 140- and 100-seat landslide victories in 1983 and 1987.

“A Conservative government with a 100 majority … It will be very hard for them to be held to account in the House of Commons. It means there won’t be usual checks and balances of democracy ... all those things go out the window.

“You end up with governance by Theresa May without much accountability – and I don’t think anybody wants that.”

Mr Watson was on a speaking tour of marginal Welsh seats when he made the comments.

He told the audience he hoped to become Culture, Media and Sports Secretary if Labour won and would stop Rupert Murdoch’s takeover of Sky News until a second round of the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics had taken place.

Mr Watson was firm in his warning that a Conservative government with a big majority would be harder to keep in check.

“A Conservative government with a 100 majority … It will be very hard for them to be held to account in the House of Commons. It means there won’t be usual checks and balances of democracy ... all those things go out the window.

“You end up with governance by Theresa May without much accountability – and I don’t think anybody wants that.”

The comments came as May turned up the dial in personal attacks on Corbyn, using a speech in the Labour stronghold of North Shields to attack what she described as “economically disastrous socialist” policies.