Ex-deputy Labour leader Tom Watson has revealed the only thing he misses about Parliament is the 64 steps he had to walk up to get to his office.

The former MP, 53, has lost eight stone thanks to a strict exercise regime and he will appear in ITV reality show Don’t Rock The Boat as part of a celebrity team rowing from Cornwall to the top of Scotland.

Mr Watson, who stepped down as an MP last year, said he misses being able to test his fitness on the walk up to his office in Westminster.

Tom Watson
Tom Watson has revealed the one thing he misses about Parliament (Jonathan Brady/PA)

He told the Radio Times: “The only thing I miss about the House of Commons is the 64 steps I used to take to my office on the committee corridor of Parliament’s gothic palace.

“That staircase was my secret barometer of fitness. The first time I climbed them, I had to stop three times, at one point nearly walking back down to the bottom to call the lift.

“Yet when I lost the weight – eight stones – I would trot up, sometimes sprint, to enjoy the feeling of nimbleness.”

Mr Watson will take part in Don’t Rock The Boat alongside stars including Lucy Fallon and Craig Charles.

He said he was motivated to join the show after the pandemic ruined his usual exercise regime.

He said: “Locked out of the gym and locked down in the house, I’d slumped. When Covid hit the country, daily routines I had painstakingly formed to fight years of weight gain collapsed overnight.

“Gone was my 12,500 steps target, and my accountability weigh-in. I neglected to track my blood pressure.”

Read the full interview in the Radio Times.