LABOUR’S deputy leader Tom Watson last night announced he was quitting parliament to set up a new organisation tackling diabetes.
The West Bromwich East MP and shadow culture secretary (pictured) insisted he was ‘as committed to Labour as ever’ and said his reason for standing down was ‘personal not political’.
In his resignation letter to Jeremy Corbyn, he said his decision had been ‘very difficult’. He added: ‘But now is the right time for me to stand down and start a different kind of life.’
Mr Watson, who has shed 7st to reverse his own type 2 diabetes, said: ‘The last few years have been among the most transformational of my personal life, second only to becoming a proud father of two beautiful children.
‘I’ve become healthy for the first time, and I intend to continue with this work in the years to come.’
Mr Watson, 52, who became deputy leader in 2016, has angered some on the left of the party by making clear his anti-Brexit desires in defiance of official party policy.
He was at the centre of calling for investigations into alleged Westminster paedophile rings, and was later forced to apologise to the families of falsely accused figures such as Lord Bramall and Lord Janner.
Last night, Lord Janner’s son Daniel said Mr Watson’s position had become ‘untenable’, adding: ‘He has stood down because he would have been defeated.’
Mr Corbyn tweeted: ‘Thank you @tom_watson for your service to our party and your constituents. This is not the end of our work together.’