Tom Watson elected deputy leader of the Labour party

He beat fellow campaigning MP Stella Creasy into second place

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Indy Politics

Tom Watson has been elected deputy leader of the Labour party after a three month contest.

The MP, who made his name pursuing allegations of phone hacking in the tabloid press, beat the other candidates, gaining 39.4 per cent of first preferences votes.

He gained 198,962 votes or 50.7 per cent of the votes in the final round of voting after the elimination of two candidates.

"Only Labour can speak for the real Britain – we haven’t always, but that’s what we have to do again. We can and we will, I promise," Mr Watson told assembled Labour supporters at the Queen Elizabeth conference centre in central London.

"To those who feel alarmed by the scale of difference between the old world and the new, I say this: there is only one Labour, and it’s bigger than leaders and deputy leaders, bigger even than its members and supporters."

"At our best we articulate and embody the common sense compassion of the British people – the no-nonsense belief that things ought to be fair. If you put in when you can you should get out when you need. "

 

He added, on the Labour leadership election: "I have a very real sense that this leadership election has been as much a referendum on the political culture of the Labour party than it has on the policies of any of the candidates.

He told the Conservative party "watch your backs".

MP for Walthamstow Stella Creasy came second. The other candidates were Angela Eagle, Ben Bradshaw and Caroline Flint.

Mr Watson, who has strong links to the party’s affiliated trade unions, has a reputation as a robust political operator.

He also served on the front bench of the last Labour government and in a campaign planning role under Ed Miliband.

Mr Watson has said he would work with whoever won the Labour leadership.

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