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The Labour Leadership Coup Explained Using Tom Watson's Glastonbury Snapchats

The Labour party is in crisis with a fully-fledged attempt to bring down Jeremy Corbyn. While this was unfolding overnight on Sunday, the man with the most influence on whether it succeeds or fails – deputy leader Tom Watson – was posting Snapchats from Glastonbury Festival. This is what we learned.

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It all started with Labour facing up to some heavy drinking following a brutal defeat in the EU referendum.

Tom Watson

Some serious soul-searching was underway, with the party looking to drown its sorrows as it realised large swathes of the party's traditional supporters had voted against Labour in the north of England and Wales.

Questions were being asked about whether Jeremy Corbyn had done enough to campaign in support of the EU.
Tom Watson

Questions were being asked about whether Jeremy Corbyn had done enough to campaign in support of the EU.

Despite Tom Watson's insistence in this Snapchat, some Labour MPs started to feel that the party really was a "barren wasteland of mud" where all that remained beneath the surface was a single middle-aged man holding a can of cider.

Tom Watson

Some Labour MPs chose to seek solace in the 1980s, represented here by a Tom Robinson gig.

Tom Watson

Meanwhile, other Labour types headed to the solace of Glastonbury's Left Field tent and take selfies surrounded by people who agreed with them.

Tom Watson

But many members of the shadow cabinet became convinced it was not a time to return to the 1980s (New Order) and instead felt the party should back someone who has mass appeal in middle England (Adele).

Tom Watson

One of the biggest issues within the party is the dispute over the free movement of people: Watson welcomes refugees but unlike Corbyn he also supports controls on immigration. All of this fed into the feeling of a party in crisis, represented here by a pin badge.

Tom Watson

Then, in the early hours of Sunday morning, shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn was fired by Jeremy Corbyn for attempting to organise a coup. People wanted to know how Tom Watson felt.

Tom Watson

Watson responded by posting footage of him singing along to "You Can Call Me Al", which may-or-may-not be the agreed codeword prompting the shadow cabinet coup.

Tom Watson

But ultimately, he remained silent. And at 4am – when Benn issued a statement saying he had no faith in Labour's ability to win an election – Tom Watson was grinning in a silent disco.

Tom Watson

And that is how we attempted to find out of the future of the Labour party by decoding the deputy leader's Glastonbury Snapchats, because there's not a lot else to go on.

Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Jim Waterson at jim.waterson@buzzfeed.com.

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