Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Owen Smith still receiving death threats after Labour leadership bid

Owen Smith speaks in south Wales before the Labour leadership contest. Credit: PA Wire

Former Labour leadership challenger Owen Smith has revealed that he is still receiving death threats after his unsuccessful attempt to replace Jeremy Corbyn this summer.

The Pontypridd MP said he has been on the receiving end of "lots and lots" of threats, but does not regret his decision to challenge Mr Corbyn.

"I had police at my surgery last Friday because of some of the death threats I've had," Mr Smith told The Guardian.

"Some of those are to do with the contest and some of those are to do with other political things I've said."

He added: "Part of the big difference was definitely social media, and the extent to which Jeremy supporters were very, very active, and very aggressive on social media."

Mr Smith also said Mr Corbyn's performance had improved since his re-election.

Owen Smith said Jeremy Corbyn's performance as Labour leader has improved since his re-election. Credit: PA Wire

"I think he's definitely done better at Prime Minister's Questions," he said.

"He's been much sharper at PMQs, more forensic, and pursued a single theme more effectively, so I think that's really encouraging."

Mr Smith warned however: "Anybody who looks at modern politics across the world and thinks that parties can't disappear, is looking with their eyes closed. It can absolutely happen.

"As I said over the summer, parties take a long time to rise, but history shows they can disappear overnight."

Mr Smith has opted not to return to the Labour party front benches since quitting ahead of his leadership challenge but maintained that he would not quit politics.

He said: "I'm frustrated and disappointed that I didn't win and I'm frustrated and disappointed that we're still at a low ebb, but I'm hopeful that we can revive and I'm hopeful that I can continue to play a part."