Labour deputy leader 'sidelined on strategy' by Corbyn

Updated: 

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson has suggested Jeremy Corbyn does not consult him on issues of strategy.

Mr Watson was asked by former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell in an interview for GQ magazine how often he discussed the party's master plan with the leader.

Mr Watson replied: "I am not on his strategy committee."

Mr Campbell then asked, "Who is then?" to which Mr Watson said, "I don't know".

Mr Campbell continued: "What? That's incredible."

Mr Watson then elaborated, saying: "That is how he is going to lead.

"That second election means he is the established leader.

"I am in the NEC and in the shadow cabinet but nobody should be in any doubt it will be his manifesto.

"He will lead in developing those policies and I will support him."

Meanwhile, Mr Watson also set out his belief that Mr Corbyn would lead Labour at the next general election.

When asked by Mr Campbell if that was a "good thing or a bad thing", he replied: "It doesn't matter, that is the situation.

"I made my position clear, gave private counsel, based on the fact it was difficult to lead without the confidence of a majority of MPs, but he took a different view, the membership backed him and we have to respect that."

Mr Watson led failed negotiations to broker a peace deal between Mr Corbyn and the bulk of the parliamentary party opposed to him after a mass shadow cabinet walkout in June last year.

The pair are believed to have a sometimes strained relationship.

The full interview between Mr Campbell and Mr Watson will be featured in the forthcoming February issue of GQ, on sale from Thursday.