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Tom Watson: We need to rebuild trust in the Labour party

The Labour party needs to "rebuild trust" after a "very bruising summer", Tom Watson has said.

The Deputy Labour leader told ITV News the country is "looking at an early general election" and taking on Theresa May's Conservative government must be the party's "sole priority", after members re-elected Jeremy Corbyn as leader following a challenge from Owen Smith.

"We have got to rebuild trust in the party, that's going to take patience, patience is the most effective warrior in this," he said.

"We've got to build confidence back between the MPs in parliament, but I think we can do that with a little bit of time and patience. And if we can do that we can focus on our general election priorities and for those millions of people that need a Labour government."

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Corbyn opposes Watson's call for return to split voting

Tom Watson's proposals to ditch Labour's leadership election rules would not take effect until Jeremy Corbyn stood down. Credit: PA

Sources close to Jeremy Corbyn have made it clear he will oppose a push by his deputy Tom Watson to give MPs and unions more power over the choice of future Labour leaders.

Mr Watson has called for the one-member-one-vote system introduced by Ed Miliband to be replaced with a return to the electoral college system that would give a third of votes each to MPs, unions and members.

But a spokesperson for Mr Corbyn said: "We support the current system of one-member-one-vote, which has led to a huge increase of membership and participation."

It is thought that Mr Corbyn will try to block discussion of a voting system change, arguing it is too important to adopt without proper consultation.

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Watson expected to talk to unions on leadership deadlock

Tom Watson and Jeremy Corbyn. Credit: PA

Labour's deputy leader, Tom Watson, is expected to hold emergency talks with trade union leaders to try and get them to withdraw their support for Jeremy Corbyn.

In a bid to break Labour's deadlock - Jeremy Corbyn refuses to resign as leader, but many of the party's MPs do not support him - sources said union leaders had "reached out" to Mr Watson to see if they could find a negotiated settlement.

It is the last throw of the dice.

– Tom Watson on talks with union leaders

However, due to "logistical" difficulties, it was "proving tough" to arrange a meeting between Mr Watson and union chiefs, a source close to the MP for West Bromwich East said.

While Unite leader Len McCluskey said on Sunday that unions could act as "honest brokers" in the leadership saga, leaders of some of the other biggest unions affiliated to Labour have not commented, and some officials are reported to be on holiday.

Pressure increasing on Jeremy Corbyn to resign

ITV News' political correspondent, Carl Dinnen, reports.

As pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to resign increases, the Labour leader has released a video message to party supporters, urging them to "come together".

However, this is at the same time that Labour's deputy leader Tom Watson has said that on Tuesday he will speak to the unions to try and get them to withdraw their support for Mr Corbyn.

Former shadow cabinet member Anglea Eagle has also said she has "the support to run and resolve this impasse", and that she will do if Mr Corbyn "does not take action soon".

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