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Support for Owen Smith, including former Jeremy Corbyn backers

Many former Jeremy Corbyn backers now support Owen Smith. Many cite the need for a credible opposition, better leadership, clearer policy direction and detail, and the EU referendum for shifting their support. Some testimonies from Southwark and beyond from ordinary members and other former backers of Jeremy Corbyn now supporting Owen Smith are grouped here:

Video from Angela Smith, Walworth resident and Labour’s Leader in the House of Lords:

Rachel Gerrick on Left Foot Forward ‘I founded a Momentum branch – but will be supporting Owen Smith’

‘Over the last ten months, I became increasingly frustrated with the leadership of the Labour Party… I see a leader confined by an inability to compromise and to reach out to make alliances — the basis of pragmatic politics… Corbyn has been an inspirational force for change, but now we need to continue that change by adopting a leader who can hear the message and move the party onward to electoral success.’

Veronica Ward, Southwark Labour in the New Statesman ‘I’ve lost my excitement’

‘As a long-standing active Labour member, I was excited, if tentative, about the idea of Corbyn as leader. Sadly, his election has caused division from the bottom to the top of Labour and created an atmosphere of disrespect. A good leader should not let that happen.’

Philippa Barton, member, in the New Statesman ‘I’ll be voting for Smith’

‘I voted for Corbyn as a refreshing change from politicians repeating patronising soundbites. However, the turning point for me was during the Paris attacks. [Corbyn] was asked to confirm that he would use lethal force against terrorists if a similar incident happened here and he hesitated, as if considering an interesting philosophical point.’

Jomaan Sherlala, Young Labour activist in West Midlands on LabourList ‘I used to support Corbyn, but Owen Smith has the vision young Muslim women like me need’

‘I was so excited when Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader of the Labour Party. As a young Muslim girl I had always felt alienated by mainstream politics… For many people, the final straw was Jeremy’s lacklustre campaign to remain in the EU… I hadn’t really heard of Owen when he first declared he was standing… here was someone articulating so powerfully and so coherently the ideas and the values that had made me support Jeremy in the first place, with real policy plans and not just vague platitudes.’

Owen Jones, author and Guardian journalist, ‘If you do not define yourself, your enemies will’

‘First impressions are critical… there has always been a lack of direction, clear vision or ability to communicate in a way that resonates with most people. The Tories have repeatedly been let off the hook: Iain Duncan Smith’s resignation should have shaken the government to its core, but it didn’t even get a mention in Labour’s response to the budget…If you do not define yourself, your enemies will.’

Danny Blanchflower, former Corbyn economic advisor and Guardian contributor, ‘I advised Corbyn’s economics team to learn fast. They didn’t’

‘With Britain apparently in recession, the Labour leadership needs to present a robust plan. But I don’t think it has one’.


Josh Wilmer in the New Statesman ‘We need a Labour government’

‘I voted for Jeremy Corbyn first time round, believing a new standard of politics could be achieved, and to some extent it has... Yet it is clear that to overturn six years (and counting) of austerity, we need a Labour government. With Corbyn as our leader, we won’t achieve that aim any time soon.’



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commented 2016-08-26 09:15:34 +0100
BOS constituency has always been fairly evenly divided between ‘left’ and ‘right’, but we all worked together to get Neil elected. As our MP, he should try to keep the local party united. It’s not good to present a one-sided view that is likely to upset half our members.
commented 2016-08-23 17:05:47 +0100
I became a member of Labour in order to vote for Jeremy, mostly because of his work against the war. But as I saw the people he was surrounding himself with, particularly his choice of Shadow Councellor, I realised that his history as a sectarian would undermine his ability to lead the Party, never mind the Country.
His ambivalence on Brexit is not just a blip: it is a very serious political misjudgement. And also a consequence of living on a narrow wold with no internationalist breath. Again, this is not what Labour want to be. I regret deeply the upsets and failures of these months, will do the minumum I can do now by voting for Owen Smith and trying to get other people to do the same.

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