Watch Labour’s deputy leader reveal the awful connection he shares with Theresa May

Theresa May in parliament and Tom Watson on LBC
Stefan Schmid

Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson nailed his colours to the mast this week live on radio. Watson was asked on LBC if he would press the nuclear button as prime minister. With almost no hesitation, the Labour front-bencher confirmed he would do so.

This is exactly how Theresa May responded to the same question in 2016 when she proudly told the country she would launch a nuclear attack.

Phone-a-friend

With Nigel Farage taking a week off from his usual LBC radio slot, Watson stepped in to cover the show. One caller, Tim, phoned in and complained about Jeremy Corbyn’s reluctance to get into a global nuclear conflict. He then posed the question to Watson:

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If you were the leader of the Labour Party, and you was the prime minister of this country, would you press that button? Because that’s the only, one of the reasons I don’t vote Labour.

Watson replied, with barely a pause for thought:

Yes I would.

The caller then thanked the Labour frontbencher, saying that “in that case, you’d get my vote”.

“CND strongly condemns Tom Watson”

Both anti-nuclear activists and Labour members reacted with outrage at the comments. Campaign group CND responded on social media:

Others called on the MP to apologise:

Some also questioned his suitability for the role of deputy-leader:

Worrying attitude

In contrast to this readiness to unleash nuclear warfare, Jeremy Corbyn was much more considered when repeatedly questioned on the subject before the 2017 general election. In the LBC phone in, Corbyn’s deputy made sure his own stance was crystal clear.

Willingness to engage in nuclear war appears to be a vote winner for some people, like Tim. As many pointed out though, it’s unlikely that we will find out if it would boost a Tom Watson PM bid:

Although it is a very worrying attitude, it is not an anomaly within the Labour party or among MPs in general. Only 0.16% of trade union delegates and 7.1% of Constituency Labour Party delegates backed a debate on Trident renewal in 2015. While over half of sitting Labour MPs voted in favour of renewal in 2016.

We can only hope the Labour Party as a whole comes to its senses, like much of the rest of the world has, and explores the thousands of ways the billions the Trident replacement will cost could be better spent. Investing in the NHS would be a nice start.

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Featured image via YouTube screengrab and LBC screengrab

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