Tom Watson: Leaving Labour for Liberal Democrats is "like quitting Beatles for Bananarama tribute band"

James Nickerson
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Watson said the Labour party must respect the mandate given to Jeremy Corbyn through his win (Source: Getty)

Leaving Labour for the Liberal Democrats would be like "quitting the Beatles for a Bananarama tribute band", Tom Watson has said.

Speaking on the Today Programme this morning Watson rubbished claims that a number of Labour MPs were unhappy with the new direction of the party under Jeremy Corbyn.

He said: "I don't think anyone is seriously saying there's defections ... I don't see any Labour MPs, or serious Labour MPs, who are going to defect to go to Tim Farron's party."

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The new deputy leader was seeking to counter claims made by Lib Dem leader Tim Farron that a number of MPs had contacted him since Corbyn's victory last week.

“My sense is there are Liberals in other parties who are not yet Liberal Democrats," Farron said during an interview with Andrew Marr yesterday. “You can ask and it’s a number but I think it would be unfair to them to go any further into that.”

The Lib Dem leader, also speaking on Today, defended 1980s girl group Banarama and accused Watson of flattering himself by believing he could be a member of the Beatles.

But Watson urged MPs within his own party to respect the mandate given to Corbyn by the "60 per cent of our members" who voted for him.
Farron is seeking to capitalise on the party's unrest during his first Lib Dem party conference as leader.
He added fuel to the fire by yesterday urging Labour MPs to join his party, saying he was “not a home-wrecker for Labour MPs, but I am a home-builder.”

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