Labour deputy Watson says there is 'zero chance' of coup against Corbyn

Watson, left, dismissed reports of behind-the-scenes plots against Labour's new leader Credit: PA

Tom Watson, Labour's new deputy leader, has said there is "zero chance" of a coup against Jeremy Corbyn, despite significant policy differences within the party.

Asked about reports of behind-the-scenes moves to oust Labour's newly elected leader, Mr Watson insisted: "There is zero chance of that happening; Labour Party members will not accept that."

Mr Watson made his comments on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, where he appeared in place of Mr Corbyn who pulled out to focus on building his shadow cabinet.

Mr Watson acknowledged there were areas within the party where compromise would needed, such as on the role of Nato and the renewal of Trident, which Mr Corbyn opposes.

"There are different views. Nobody wants to live in a nuclear world but it's how you disarm," Mr Watson said.

Watson urged party members to unify behind Corbyn Credit: Reuters

"I think the deterrent has kept the peace in the world for half a century and I hope we can have that debate in the party."

Mr Watson also said there was no "massive disagreement" on Nato membership - but conceded that he did not know "precisely what Jeremy's position" was and hoped to "convince him of the merits" of Nato membership.

The deputy leader called for unity within the party, saying the Mr Corbyn "wants a front bench that represents all the talents and all the views".

"I say to colleagues: watch this space, respect the mandate he has been given from our members, try to unify and let's try and get an exciting programme for 2020," Mr Watson said.