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Peter Martin Watt (born 20 July 1969)[1] was the General Secretary of the Labour Party in the United Kingdom from January 2006 until he resigned in November 2007 as a result of the Donorgate affair.

From 1989 to 1992 Watt trained as a nurse at a predecessor institution to Bournemouth University, then worked for Poole Hospital NHS Trust.[1][2] From 1996 he worked for the Labour Party, first as a local organiser for Battersea and Wandsworth, then in Labour Party head office on election delivery and recruitment and then as Regional Director of the Eastern region. In 2004 he gained a Professional Certificate in Management from the Open University.[1]

He returned to the Labour Party head office as Director of Finance and Compliance in 2005, a role that bridges legal and financial party issues and also usually includes a tacit role of enforcing party discipline and sorting out internal disputes. Viewed as loyal to the party leadership, he has on occasion come into conflict with the trade union movement over party policy and organisation, especially apparent at the Labour Party Conference in 2005.

Watt was appointed as General Secretary by the Party's National Executive Committee on 7 November 2005. He was not the candidate favoured by Prime Minister and Labour Party leader Tony Blair,[3] but won the NEC vote by some margin.[4][5]

He is married and the father of five children as well as an active foster carer.[6]

BBC News reported that he resigned as General Secretary on 26 November 2007 and he was quoted as saying that he knew about an arrangement by which one individual, David Abrahams, had made a number of donations to the Labour Party through third parties without the fact that he was ultimate donor being reported. He said that he had not appreciated that he had failed to comply with the reporting requirements.[7][8] Watt revealed he had known about the arrangement for about a year.[9] In May 2009 the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was insufficient evidence for any prosecution relating to these events.[10][11][12]

Watt is now Chief Executive of The Campaign Company, a Croydon and Sheffield-based communications consultancy.

In January 2010, Watt published the book Inside Out describing his experiences as a senior Party offical and his time as General Secretary of the Party, which were serialised in the Mail on Sunday.[13][14][3]

References

  1. ^ a b c "WATT, Peter Martin". Who's Who 2010 online edn. Oxford University Press. November 2009. http://www.ukwhoswho.com/view/article/oupww/whoswho/U151342. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  2. ^ James Kirkup (29 November 2007). "Peter Watt, head of the party machine". Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/11/27/nlabour327.xml. Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  3. ^ a b Roy Hattersley (13 February 2010). "Inside Out by Peter Watt, with Isabel Oakeshott". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/13/inside-out-peter-watt-review. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  4. ^ "7 November NEC report - Blair's Gen Sec choice defeated". Socialist Campaign Group News. 8 November 2005. http://web.archive.org/web/20060206091326/http://www.poptel.org.uk/scgn/articles/0512/p12b.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  5. ^ Kevin Maguire (6 December 2007). "The whispers". New Statesman. http://www.newstatesman.com/200712060015. Retrieved 2007-12-07. 
  6. ^ "Money problems cost Watt his job". BBC. 27 November 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7114914.stm. Retrieved 2007-11-27. 
  7. ^ "Labour boss quits over donations". BBC. 26 November 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7113255.stm. Retrieved 2007-11-26. 
  8. ^ Peter Watt (27 November 2007), Statement from Peter Watt, Labour Party, http://web.archive.org/web/20071130145031/http://www.labour.org.uk/peter_watt_statement, retrieved 2007-12-06 
  9. ^ Patrick Wintour (December 1, 2007). "The 'usual terms' that left Labour in a 'mind-blowing' mess". http://politics.guardian.co.uk/funding/story/0,,2220149,00.html. Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  10. ^ CPS decides no charges over Labour Party donations, Crown Prosecution Service, 7 May 2009, http://www.cps.gov.uk/news/press_releases/126_09/, retrieved 2009-05-10 
  11. ^ Alex Barker and Jim Pickard (7 May 2009). "Prosecutors drop Labour donations probe". Financial Times. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/3a392bd2-3b00-11de-ba91-00144feabdc0.html. Retrieved 2009-05-10. 
  12. ^ Isabel Oakeshott (10 May 2009). "‘Brutal’ Brown sacrificed party chief". Sunday Times. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6256748.ece. Retrieved 2009-05-10. 
  13. ^ Peter Watt (16 January 2010). "'I'll bring you down with sleaze'". Mail on Sunday. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1243766/Chancellor-Gordon-Brown-screamed-Ill-bring-sleaze-PM-Tony-Blair-night-Donorgate-exploded-public-view.html. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 
  14. ^ "Interview: Ex-Labour General Secretary Peter Watt on Gordon Brown". Daily Politics (BBC). 18 January 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/the_daily_politics/8465722.stm. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 
Party political offices
Preceded by
Matt Carter
General Secretary of the Labour Party
2006–2007
Succeeded by
Ray Collins
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