Jeremy Corbyn has said he would like to see two deputy leaders of the Labour Party – hours after a bid to scrap the elected position was abandoned.
The Labour leader said one of the deputies should be a woman to reflect the ‘diversity within our society’.
It came after Tom Watson, who has repeatedly clashed with Mr Corbyn, claimed the civil war at the top of the party had undermined efforts to present itself as an alternative government.
An attempt to oust him by scrapping his elected position was abandoned on the first day of Labour’s conference following an intervention by the party leader.
The Labour leader’s comments came after Tom Watson (right, arriving in Brighton on Saturday), who has repeatedly clashed with Mr Corbyn (left, also arriving in Brighton on Saturday), claimed the civil war at the top of the party had undermined efforts to present itself as an alternative government
The plot to scrap Mr Watson’s position was spearheaded by Jon Lansman (pictured last year), the boss of the Corbyn-supporting Momentum group
Mr Corbyn told the Sunday Mirror: ‘I told the national executive we need to review how the deputy leadership works and have an election process for two deputy leaders in the future which reflects diversity within our society so one would be a woman.
‘It was agreed overwhelmingly.’
He added: ‘Tom is the elected deputy leader of the party and so has an important role to play.
‘I work with him and he’s done very well on media reform, online gambling and exposing the way sugar has a deleterious affect on our lives.’
It came amid reports that one of Mr Corbyn’s closest aides has resigned, issuing a warning that the Labour leader will not win the next general election.
Andrew Fisher, head of policy and the author of the party’s last manifesto, is said to have walked out last Saturday.
The Sunday Times reported he denounced Mr Corbyn’s team for their ‘lack of professionalism, competence and human decency’ in a memo seen by the paper.
He also said he was sick of the ‘blizzard of lies and excuses’, and claimed a ‘class war’ had gripped the upper echelons of the party.
His resignation will be a significant blow to 70-year-old Mr Corbyn, who, it is claimed, may also stand down because he feels under ‘incredible pressure’.
The news comes amid reports that one of Mr Corbyn’s closest aides has resigned (Andrew Fisher is pictured), issuing a warning that the Labour leader will not win the next general election
A Labour source said: ‘We don’t comment on staffing matters.’
The plot to scrap Mr Watson’s position was spearheaded by Jon Lansman, the boss of the Corbyn-supporting Momentum group.
Mr Watson, who was met by cheering supporters as he arrived at Brighton station for the conference on Saturday afternoon, was scathing about Mr Lansman.
He said: ‘I think it says there are some people who don’t think clear-headedly, who risk us having a transformative government by playing sectarian games.
‘I put Jon Lansman in that category and I think it’s very sad because I think he has undermined himself and the members of his organisation, many of whom have been in touch with me today and said they were not consulted when he did that and they were very disappointed with him personally.
‘But that’s politics, I’ve been around a long time and I want us to reunite now.’
Tom Watson (pictured in Brighton today ahead of the Labour Party Conference) has described the attempt to remove him as deputy leader of the Labour party as a ‘drive-by shooting’
Mr Watson was the target of an ambush at the Labour National Executive Committee (NEC) on Friday night, at which he was not present due to family commitments.
Although a surprise effort to abolish the post of deputy was ruled out of order by chair Wendy Nichols, those present voted by 17-10 in a bid to debate it anyway – just short of the two-thirds majority required under party rules.
But the motion was due to be debated on Saturday morning’s meeting of the NEC, just hours before the official start of a party conference supposed to be focused on preparing for a looming election.
After Mr Corbyn intervened with his call for a review of the deputy leadership position, the bid to abolish it was not put to a vote.
Also on Saturday, Jeremy Corbyn said a Labour government would aim to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions before 2050.
Mr Corbyn (pictured on Saturday, the first day of the Labour conference) told The World Transformed festival the Labour movement would ‘rattle the cages of the wealthy elite’ who are nervous about the prospect of him being in power
Addressing The World Transformed festival which runs alongside the Labour conference in Brighton, the party leader said: ‘The climate and environment emergency is real, it’s serious, it’s here, it’s now.
‘The Paris climate change accords were a very, very important way forward.
‘A Labour government, and it will be our Labour government, will not walk hand-in-hand with Donald Trump and say ‘Yes Donald, we understand the special needs of your country’.
‘We’ll be the ones that say: ‘Paris, good, go further, go faster. Reach zero emissions before 2050.’
Mr Corbyn told the same event the Labour movement would ‘rattle the cages of the wealthy elite’ who are nervous about the prospect of him being in power.
He said: ‘An incoming Labour government – yes, public ownership for rail, mail, water and the National Grid – but it will be public ownership with a difference.’
He said ‘community-based public ownership’ would give influence to workers rather than ‘fly-by-night financiers’.
The Labour leader also told activists they would take on ‘a Prime Minister who wants to take us over the cliff, out of the EU, into the arms of Donald Trump’.