Owen Smith MP gives speech in Newcastle

Owen Smith is battling with Jeremy Corbyn for Labour leadership.

Labour leadership contender Owen Smith has given a speech in Newcastle today (August 8).

Mr Smith spoke at The Auditorium, Bunker Coffee & Kitchen, next to Campus North between 11.30am and 1.30pm.

The Pontypridd MP has branded Jeremy Corbyn “useless” and said he would be tempted to hold a snap election if he was the Tory prime minister.

In a speech in Newcastle, the former shadow work and pensions secretary promised an industrial revolution that would revitalise British industry.

Mr Smith called on the Government to inject £20 billion immediately into infrastructure projects across the country, such as rail electrification, renewable energy schemes and new further education colleges, through an early autumn statement.

As well as this he also underlined his demand for a second referendum to allow voters to sign off any Brexit deal.

The MP said he entered the shadow cabinet “with a bit of hope” but lost faith when Mr Corbyn failed to act on his promises.

“The problem is, he didn’t deliver,” he said. “Great at slogans, useless at solutions. Great at talking about forging a united Labour movement but he has done the opposite. He’s fractured it.”

As chaos in the party continued to deepen with the High Court ruling that new members can vote in the leadership contest, Mr Smith said he might be tempted to call an election if he was in Theresa May’s position.

He said: “She could decide to have a snap election next month. If I were her, I might well do.”

Setting out proposals for an industrial strategy that would be backed by £40billion worth of investment, Mr Smith also pledged a £15bn injection into the Green Investment Bank over five years.

“The experts are telling us we are standing on the edge of another recession. We can see a recession coming round the corner.

“We have spent a lot of money in this country over the last six years, the best part of now £450 billion re-floating the banks in this country,

“I think it’s about time we started floating the people in Britain, not the banker, let’s start looking to ordinary people because they will pay the price,” he said.

Owen Smith will be back in the region on Thursday, August 11 as he goes head to head with Jeremy Corbyn in Gateshead for a leadership debate.

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