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


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

McAleese closes Biloela depot, shuttle run

McAleese Biloela manager Mick Watson outside the soon to be closed Biloela depot.

Embattled transport company closes regional offices.

Biloela man pleads guilty after Kariboe St lie-down

The man pleaded guilty to charges of committing a public nuisance and obstructing a police officer.

Man pleads guilty to public nuisance, obstructing a police officer.

$1200 fine for Thangool man caught with marijuana plants

A generic photo of marijuana plants.

A Biloela woman also pleaded guilty to possession of an ice pipe.

Local Partners

Callide Dam gates pass safety test

SunWater says "everything went to plan" and the release was around 30 megalitres as expected.

Aviators ready for Thangool Fly-In

The Thangool Fly-In will feature displays and flights across the long weekend.

Three-day event expected to attract up to 80 planes.

McAleese closes Biloela depot, shuttle run

McAleese Biloela manager Mick Watson outside the soon to be closed Biloela depot.

Embattled transport company closes regional offices.

Biloela man pleads guilty after Kariboe St lie-down

The man pleaded guilty to charges of committing a public nuisance and obstructing a police officer.

Man pleads guilty to public nuisance, obstructing a police officer.

$1200 fine for Thangool man caught with marijuana plants

A generic photo of marijuana plants.

A Biloela woman also pleaded guilty to possession of an ice pipe.

SunWater to test Callide Dam gates

Callide Dam, May 2015 Photo Emma Clarke / Central Telegraph

Callide Dam will release 30 megalitres of water on Wednesday.

Cattle judging draws crowds at Moura Coal & Country Festival

Grand Champion Bull, Kenrol Jesseppi 2736 (left), exhibited by Kenrol Brahman Stud.

Kenrol Brahman Stud won Most Successful Exhibitor.

Magpie swooping season underway

Adam Burling is getting used to being swooped on his morning ride.

September is the breeding birds' peak swooping month.

Classic car auction draws buyers from US, Dubai

"He wants everyone to enjoy the cars, the collection got too big'

Lady Gaga confirms Super Bowl show

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga to perform in coveted spot

Girls actors give emotional tributes to hit show

Actor Allison Williams

Actors farewell smash hit HBO show Girls after six seasons

Janet Jackson's pregnancy is 'best thing'

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson can't wait to become a mum

Jay Z signs two-year movie and TV deal

Rapper Jay Z

Rapper Jay Z has signed a television and movie deal

Nowhere to Hyde: Matt Nable is Australia's man in demand

Matt Nable stars as Detective Gary Hyde in the TV series Hyde & Seek.

NABLE returns to the small screen amidst busy film work.

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E7: Manifest review

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

$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'

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.