AFTER the Labour party ruled that Jeremy Corbyn would automatically be included in the leadership contest sparked by Angela Eagle, even though he may not have the requisite 51 MPs or MEPs supporting his bid, a third candidate, former shadow minister Owen Smith, who resigned from the shadow cabinet in June, announced on July 13 that he intends to stand as leader.
Unlike the current leader, Mr Smith will need to obtain the minimum number of votes although the entire competition could all change if Ms Eagle decides to challenge the party decision in the courts.
According to Mr Smith he believes that he would be a “radical and credible” leader, and does support a number of the Corbyn policies, but has simply lost faith in the man himself.
Assuming that he does obtain the necessary parliamentary support then he could either split the anti-Corbyn vote or galvanise a section of the party that wants to see change but doesn’t trust Jeremy Corbyn to sway the country in the next general election, whenever that may be.
Mr Smith doesn’t object to the automatic selection of Mr Corbyn to fight the contest and believes that the party deserves a wide range of candidates to choose from. The party itself is expected to announce the timetable for the election later in the week but it is thought that the election could take up to two months with an announcement of the winner being made at the Labour Party Conference in the latter part of September.