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Chamber POTY: Tom Watson, nominated by Marc Reeves

Chamber POTY: Tom Watson, nominated by Marc Reeves

🕔19.Dec 2012

Serial social media enthusiast Tom Watson proudly declares in his Twitter profile: “According to the Sun newspaper, Watson is a fundamentalist zealot who denounces any deviation from socialism.”

The combative West Brom MP’s reputation as a parliamentary bruiser was sealed forever in 2012 through his central role in unravelling the hacking scandal and the associated furore which will no doubt change the face of the British press forever. That reputation was honed in Watson’s days as a Brownite enforcer in the dying days of the Blair era, when he and a group of like-minded conspirators may (or may not) have plotted in a curry house to oust the then-PM.

Rewarded eventually with the job of parliamentary secretary to the Cabinet office during Brown’s regime, Watson nevertheless considered an exit from politics as the Labour government fell, only to find himself suddenly reinvigorated as a campaigner against the sins of the tabloids as the hacking scandal broke.

He led the charge like some sort of portly attack dog when the culture select committee questioned both Murdochs and their various acolytes, mercilessly sinking his teeth into these once mighty rulers of the media universe.

Rewarded with the deputy chairmanship of the Labour Party, he was then put in charge of campaigning, parachuting himself into byelection battles across the country. The surprise defeat in Bradford would have seen off a lesser figure, but Watson seemed to emerge relatively unscathed from this defeat, and continues to be considered a key asset by the party’s leadership, especially of Ed Balls.

If he keeps his head – and avoids the flattery of the legions of conspiracy theorists to whom he has become a poster boy – Watson is a sure bet for a cabinet position if Labour wins through in 2015.

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