Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson to miss Durham Miners' Gala 'due to father's illness'

Tom Watson. Picture by PA.
Tom Watson. Picture by PA.
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The deputy leader of the Labour Party will not attend this year's Durham Miners' Gala due to his father's illness.

Tom Watson was one of a number of Labour dignitaries due to attend Durham Big Meeting on Saturday July 9.

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A spokesman for the Durham Miners Association (DMA) said: "We have been informed by Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, that due to his father’s illness he regrets that he will not be able to attend this year’s Gala.

"Tom’s father, a lifelong socialist and UNISON activist, asked Tom to pass on his best wishes to all attending the Big Meeting particularly to Jeremy Corbyn who was, ‘very supportive of him whilst in hospital this year’.

"The DMA wishes to extend to Tom’s father its best wishes and hope he has a speedy recovery."

The news comes after the DMA announced those who failed to support Jeremy Corbyn would not be welcome at the Gala.