Wednesday 28 September 2016

Tom Watson adopts 'Buddha' face at PMQs to avoid social media rows

Published 09/08/2016 | 15:36

Tom Watson said he tries 'not to have any facial expression at all' during PMQs
Tom Watson said he tries 'not to have any facial expression at all' during PMQs

Tom Watson has revealed he tries to enter into a "Buddha-like state" during Prime Minister's Questions to avoid his reactions being misinterpreted on social media.

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The Labour deputy leader told the Guardian his aim during the weekly set-piece in the House of Commons is to "keep a straight face" when he sits next to Jeremy Corbyn on the frontbench.

He said: "Well, at PMQs I always try to get myself into a Buddha-like state.

"I try not to have any facial expression at all.

"Because if I laugh at a Jeremy joke, two hours later on social media it's either interpreted as me laughing at Jeremy, or laughing at an opposition joke.

"Or, if I scowl at something someone says, people are accusing me of scowling at Jeremy.

"So I try to keep a straight face, which everyone always interprets as me looking really sad and miserable. That's actually not the case. I'm generally just trying to remain expressionless."

It is not the first time Mr Watson has mentioned Buddha in connection with Westminster politics.

When he resigned from his role as general election coordinator in 2013 he praised then Labour leader Ed Miliband for displaying "Buddha-like qualities".

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