Ruther­glen CLP backs Owen Smith

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

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@ ruther­glen­re­

Bat­tle Owen Smith and Jeremy Cor­byn have clashed at a se­ries of spe­cial de­bates across the coun­try

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