News

Owen Smith’s team considering prospect of defeat

Independent News & Media

OWEN Smith's campaign team appeared to be considering the prospect of defeat in the Labour leadership race on Tuesday, as voting in the bitterly-fought contest entered the final hours.

In an open letter to Labour Party members and supporters Mr Smith, the former shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said his ideas, whatever the result at the weekend, would remain "as relevant after this contest as they have been during". He added: "It has been a long and bruising contest, and I know many of you didn't want it to happen. But the truth is it had to happen." 

When asked about the potential outcome of the leadership contest on Saturday, a source said: "We're not measuring out curtains for the Norman Shaw South building". The office of Mr Corbyn, and leaders of the opposition before him, have been situated in a suite in the building.

But a source close to the contender added that the final result, which will be announced in Liverpool ahead of the party's annual conference, will be closer than previous polls have predicted. A recent YouGov poll placed Mr Corbyn, also the MP for North Islington, on course for a landslide victory, leading Mr Smith by 24 points.

"I'm proud that I have brought forward a positive programme for a future Labour government that would improve the lives and livelihoods of millions of our fellow citizens: a £200bn investment programme to replace austerity with prosperity; a revolution in workers' rights; an extra £60bn for our NHS paid for through new taxes on the wealthiest; and trusting British people to sign off on the final Brexit deal," Mr Smith added in his open letter.

"The ideas will remain as relevant after this contest as they have been during this contest. They are part of my vision for Labour and Britain's future and whatever the outcome of this contest I will continue to make these arguments and do all I can to see us back in government."

But Kate Green, the Labour MP chairing Mr Smith's campaign, said: "I don't think we're pre-empting the result at all actually... I think it [the open letter] is very much looking to the future.

She added: "We're obviously picking up all the commentary...  everywhere we can see the commentary and the expectation that is Jeremy is going to win. I am genuinely unsure what that result is going to look like... even as recently as last night when I was phoning I was surprised at the number of people who were still to vote and still hadn't finally decided."

Voting in the Labour leadership contest closes at noon on Wednesday. 

Topics:  campaign, owen smith



Council approves housing estate at Bargara

NEW DEVELOPMENT: The Hughes Rd development will be built in eight stages, with the lots ranging in size from 602sq m to 994sq m.

Bargara development 'to generate jobs and investment'

Hunt is on for meteorite that could be worth millions

Owen Benedick.

Collector rocking up to look for meteorite

Bali flight chaos: What you need to know today

Tourists are finding themselves caught in Bali, or unable to fly, after a volcanic ash cloud developed over the Indonesian island.

Jetstar was forced to cancel seven flights on Tuesday

Local Partners

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber split

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber have split after 11 years together.

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Testament's new album is a concept album

ROME, ITALY- JULY 27, 2016: Testament photographed at The Roman Collisseium in Rome, Italy on July 27,2016. Gene Ambo

Testament to release new album

'Baby' recreates famous Nirvana cover shot 25 years later

The baby from Nevermind album has recreated the iconic cover shot.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Developers boost confidence in Bundaberg property market

Slow and steady growth has always been Bundaberg’s way

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.