In Depth

Owen Smith's policies: What does the Labour MP stand for?

The Welsh politician is taking on Jeremy Corbyn in the upcoming Labour leadership election

Owen Smith is hoping to beat Jeremy Corbyn in the upcoming Labour leadership contest.

The Pontypridd MP, the former shadow work and pensions secretary, has cast himself as the "unity" candidate, promising to heal the party's deep divisions.

But what exactly does he stand for? Here are his view on some of the biggest topics:

Owen Smith on foreign policy

In a pitch on Labour's website, Smith says the party needs to recommit itself to an ethical foreign policy, "which is why I would introduce a War Powers Act", allowing parliament to properly scrutinise the government to ensure "that what we are doing is right and proportionate and in accordance with international law".

Owen Smith on Trident

Smith calls himself a multilateralist, having voted with his party in July in support of retaining Trident. "We've got to renew it if that's the advice of the security services," he told Andrew Marr. He also says that if he becomes prime minister, he would be prepared to press the nuclear button.

Owen Smith on the economy

Labour has been "far too timid" in addressing the country's taxation system, Smith says, and he would "go back to the 50p rate tomorrow" to tax the rich. He has also promised a new wealth tax on the top one per cent of earners.

He has also pledged to reverse corporation tax reductions planned over the next four years, as well as the cuts to inheritance tax and capital gains tax announced in 2015.

Owen Smith on health

"We want a public NHS, publicly funded, 100 per cent publicly funded, and we need to see less private provision in the NHS, not more," Smith told a Salford audience earlier this month.

He has also promised to increase spending on the NHS by four per cent in real terms in every year of the next parliament, as well as committing to raising funding to the European average "within the first term of a Labour government".

Owen Smith on education

He wants to scrap government tax breaks for private schools to raise hundreds of millions of pounds for Sure Start, which supports education in deprived communities, and block any attempts to roll out more grammar schools.

Owen Smith on Brexit

After campaigning to remain in the EU, Smith called for Labour to have a seat at the Brexit negotiations table and for the electorate to have a say on the final deal, with "a second referendum or a general election" when the terms of the country's departure from the bloc are clear.

On the Andrew Marr Show, Smith said it would be "very tempting" for a Labour government not to trigger Article 50 - the section of the Lisbon Treaty that sets out how a country leaves the EU - with the caveat that it would depend on what had been achieved in Brexit negotiations.

INSERT VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9q9KFG_mLE

Recommended

‘Equality seemed simple, so we underestimated how revolutionary such changes would be’
An International Women’s Day march in Madrid
Instant Opinion

‘Equality seemed simple, so we underestimated how revolutionary such changes would be’

Everything we know about when Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe will be freed
A protest outside the Iranian embassy in London in 2016
The latest on . . .

Everything we know about when Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe will be freed

How many people need to be vaccinated against Covid to get life back to normal?
Margaret Keenan becomes the first patient in the UK to receive the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine
In Focus

How many people need to be vaccinated against Covid to get life back to normal?

What next for the Royal Family after ‘racism’ allegations?
Queen Elizabeth II and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex on the balcony of Buckingham Palace
Today’s big question

What next for the Royal Family after ‘racism’ allegations?

Popular articles

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 8 March 2021
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 8 March 2021

Best TV crime dramas to watch in 2021
James Nesbitt stars in Bloodlands
In Depth

Best TV crime dramas to watch in 2021

Quiz of The Week: 27 February - 5 March
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a visit to Northern Ireland in 2019
Quizzes and puzzles

Quiz of The Week: 27 February - 5 March