• 22:27
  • 23.08.2017
Tom Watson’s team 'seemed to hate Jeremy Corbyn'

Tom Watson’s team 'seemed to hate Jeremy Corbyn'

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Tom Watson’s team “seemed to hate Jeremy Corbyn”, actor Steve Coogan has claimed his daughter told him. 

Clare Coogan-Cole worked one day a week in Mr Watson’s office and spent time campaigning alongside the deputy Labour leader's camp. 

She was vocally pro-Corbyn and told her father that members of Mr Watson’s team wanted the Labour leader to “fall flat on his face”. 
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“Clare was campaigning for Tom Watson in the Midlands, and she kept ringing me to complain. She was upset because of the way people in the campaign were behaving,” Coogan told the New European. 

“There were only two people who were pro-Corbyn in the whole campaign team. Others seemed to hate Jeremy Corbyn, and they were saying scornful things like: ‘Oh! He’s on TV tonight – I hope he falls flat on his face.’

“She said she was getting really fed up with it and having arguments with them. And she rang me up, and said, ‘I’m really upset and I don’t want to do this any more’.
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“I said: ‘You’ve got to stick at it, you’ve got to stay true to your principles’. As the election results came in, she saw her loyalty and determination had paid off.

“They were expecting loads of seats to be lost, and then the exit poll came in, and the faces of the anti-Corbyn brigade were the epitome of mixed feelings,” he said. 

Coogan went on to say that Mr Watson publicly admitted that everyone was wrong and praised his daughter for standing by Mr Corbyn. 
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“The best part of the whole campaign for her was that Tom Watson was just about to go off to do his speech at his own constituency count.

"And in front of all the other campaigners, he turned and saw that Clare was smiling. He stopped. He made everyone listen and said: ‘Clare, I just want to say, you were right and everyone else was wrong’,” Mr Watson said.

Mr Watson had previously been at odds with Mr Corbyn and urged him to stand down as party leader when he polling considerably behind Theresa May.  
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At the time, he wanted a “negotiated settlement” that would have seen Mr Corbyn step aside.

Mr Watson also warned of a “hard left plan” to take control of the Labour party and accused Momentum, the grassroots group, of wanting permanent control and suggested they had “tacit approval of the leadership”. 

He has since U-turned and speaking after the election, Mr Watson praised Mr Corbyn’s “honesty, candour and energy”, and said people “responded well” to the Labour leader. 
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The Independent has contacted Tom Watson for a comment. 
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