Labour Leadership Contender - Owen Smith MP
On 17th July former Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Owen Smith announced that he would be joining Angela Eagle on the ballot paper to challenge Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership of the Labour Party. This followed a Labour NEC ruling that Mr Corbyn as the incumbent i.e. current leader would automatically be submitted.
Mr Smith was one of many voices asking Mr Corbyn to resign. He refuses to do so stating he has the support of the membership even if he does not command the support of the parliamentary party. On 19th July Angela Eagle withdrew from the contest making Mr Smith the sole 'unity' candidate to oppose Mr Corbyn in September 2016.
Who is Owen Smith?Owen Smith has been the Labour MP for Pontypridd since 2010, he was re-elected to the seat in 2015 after tripling his majority.
Owen joined the Labour Frontbench in October 2010, initially as Shadow Minister for the Wales Office, later as a member of the Shadow Health and Treasury Teams.
In May 2012, Labour Leader Ed Miliband appointed Owen to his Shadow Cabinet in the role of Shadow Secretary of State for Wales.
In September 2015, Owen became Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary. He is now standing to be Leader of the Labour Party. You can find out more about his campaign here: www.owen2016.com
Prior to being elected, Owen worked for five years in the Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals industry, latterly as a Director and member of the UK and Ireland Board of Amgen, the global biotechnology company.
Owen began his career as a BBC journalist, where he worked for ten years on network radio and television programmes, including BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’.
After leaving journalism, he spent three years working as a Government Special Adviser, principally at the Northern Ireland Office.
Owen was brought up in Pontypridd and lives in the constituency with his wife and three children.
Watch: Owen Smith's Leadership Bid in 60 Seconds
Watch: Owen Smith and Angela Eagle make their pitches for leader
Watch: Owen Smith takes on former Work & Pensions Secretary in the Commons