Rutherglen CLP backs Owen Smith
The Rutherglen branch of the Labour Party have overwhelmingly backed Owen Smith to be the next leader of the party.
But Jeremy Corbyn remains the favourite to remain in charge.
Members voted by 20 to seven in favour of endorsing of the Welshman at a meeting earlier this month.
It is understood the meeting was “cordial” despite the bitterness that has characterised the contest.
Councillor Richard Tullett, chair of the Rutherglen CLP, said: “Labour members met recently and, after an excellent discussion, supported Owen Smith for the leadership of the party.
“Many members recognised that there needed to be a change and that Owen Smith was best placed to unite the party going forward.”
Glasgow MSP James Kelly, a member of the Rutherglen CLP, also backed the MP for Pontypridd: “I’m delighted the Rutherglen CLP are supporting Owen Smith in the leadership election.
“Labour at this time needs a leader who is credible with the public and who also has the credentials to do the job, and in my view and the view of the majority of the Rutherglen CLP, Owen Smith ticks those boxes.
“There is now just under a month until the leadership election and party members will be hoping to see support for Owen Smith in the coming weeks to propel him to victory in this contest.”
Despite local support, Smith is facing an uphill battle to oust the sitting Labour leader who won an overwhelming victory less than a year ago.
The contest has been particularly fierce and has even brought up the possibility of a split in the party.
And although the meeting in Rutherglen was not conducted in a hostile environment, one member told the Reformer Labour was “finished” if Mr Corbyn was re-elected.
They added: “The latest YouGov poll shows Labour voters see Theresa May more favourably than Corbyn, and the Tories and media haven’t even scratched the surface on his past statements such as his pro-IRA and Hamas views.
“Labour will get smashed at the next general election, similar to 1983, if he stays.”
Members started voting on Monday, August 22, with the result expected on September 24.
Were you one of the party members who backed Mr Corbyn? Get in touch by calling 01698 205135 or emailing news@ rutherglenreformer.co.uk.
Battle Owen Smith and Jeremy Corbyn have clashed at a series of special debates across the country