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Owen Smith sole Labour leadership challenger as Angela Eagle withdraws from race

Credit: PA

Angela Eagle has withdrawn from the contest for Labour's leadership in order to back Owen Smith as a "unity candidate" to challenge Jeremy Corbyn.

Ms Eagle was the first to mount a public challenge to the Labour leader, but decided to withdraw after it became apparent that Pontypridd MP, Mr Smith, had secured more nominations from party MPs and MEPs.

Mr Smith has obtained nominations from 88 Labour MPs and two MEPs to become a leadership candidate, easily clearing the 51 hurdle to get his name onto the ballot paper.

Among his nominators is former party leader Ed Miliband.

Incumbent leader Mr Corbyn was not required to secure nominations to take part in the contest, following a ruling by the party's National Executive Committee.

Ms Eagle said that while there had been "quite a narrow gap" in support among Labour MPs for her and Mr Smith, she had concluded it was in the best interests of the party that she dropped out.

Credit: ITV News

When I looked at the results I didn't think it was in the interests of the party that this carried on.

– Angela Eagle

Mr Smith will now go forward to fight Mr Corbyn in a ballot of party members and supporters which ends on September 24.

Speaking at Westminster, Ms Eagle said she would be backing Mr Smith in the contest, adding: "We are in lock-step together, arguing for a united Labour Party."

Owen Smith and Angela Eagle to pitch for support from MPs in their leadership challenge

The challengers to Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, Owen Smith and Angela Eagle, will face a parliamentary Labour Party hustings event later, where they will set out their stall to fellow MPs.

Labour leadership challengers Owen Smith and Angela Eagle to pitch for support from MPs Credit: PA

Pontypridd MP, Mr Smith, said he would happily bow out if Ms Eagle had more support from MPs to give her the best shot of toppling Mr Corbyn.

Mr Smith said the leadership contender with the most support among Labour MPs should become the unity candidate to take on Mr Corbyn, a view shared by senior colleagues.

But Ms Eagle refused to give the same assurance, instead insisting that she was in the best position to beat Mr Corbyn to become leader in a national ballot of members.


Ebbw Vale crowned Premiership Champions after Pontypridd triumph

Ebbw Vale are Premiership Champions after beating reigning Pontypridd 38 points to 12.

The Play-Off Final was a repeat of last season's showdown, with Pontypridd taking the honours on that occasion by 28pts to 14.

The match kicked off at 3pm at Sardis Road.

Ebbw Vale were storming their opponents 30-0 until the final thirty minutes when Pontypridd managed two tries before the final whistle.


South Wales girl wins Princess Diana Award for courage and kindness

A nine year old girl from South Wales has received a national award for her courage and kindness.

Mia Thorne has cerebral palsy and wants to make sure children get as much help as possible. As well as fundraising, she's an ambassador for the disabled children's charity Caudwell Children.

Our Education Reporter Megan Boot, went to Mia's school in Pontypridd to find out more about her:

Dog found at bus stop in England is from Pontypridd

An appeal has gone out to trace the owners of a Dalmatian dog which was found in freezing weather conditions at a bus stop in England but is registered as coming from Pontypridd.

Harvey was found in Hampshire but was registered at Ynysybwl. Credit: RSPCA

The RSPCA says the dog, named Harvey, was found alone at a bus stop near Shedfield Common in Hampshire.

He is believed to be around three years old and was so weak he could barely lift his head or wag his tail, says the RSPCA.

Harvey is microchipped with a registered address in Ynysybwl, Pontypridd - but the phone numbers on the chip are not recognised.

RSPCA is now trying to find his owners.

We are desperate to know how he came to be in this state and where his owners are.

We hope someone in Wales or in the Hampshire area may recognise him and come forward.

– RSPCA inspector Tina Ward

Anyone with information should call 0300 123 8018.

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