Profile: Who is Owen Smith?

Labour is set for an all-male leadership contest after Angela Eagle withdrew to offer her support to Owen Smith as a "unity candidate" to take on Jeremy Corbyn.

But who is Owen Smith?

  • Home life and education

Born in Morecambe, Lancashire, Mr Smith was brought up in Pontypridd and Barry in south Wales.

He was educated at Barry Comprehensive School, before he studied History and French at the University of Sussex.

He lives in Pontypridd with his wife Liz and three children.

  • Life before politics

Prior to being elected, Mr Smith worked for five years in the Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals industry, latterly as a director and member of the UK and Ireland Board of Amgen, the global biotechnology company.

His career before politics also saw him work as a journalist for the BBC, where he spent 10 years working on network radio and television programmes, including BBC Radio 4's 'Today'.

  • His career in politics so far

After leaving journalism, he spent three years working as a Government Special Adviser, principally at the Northern Ireland Office.

He became the Labour MP for Pontypridd in 2010 and was re-elected to the seat in 2015 after tripling his majority.

In October 2010 he became Shadow Minister for the Wales Office, before becoming a member of the Shadow Health and Treasury teams.

In May 2012, Labour leader Ed Miliband appointed him to his Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Wales.

Last September he became the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary.

Owen Smith makes his speech during the second day of the Labour Party conference in September 2015. Credit: PA

On July 13 Mr Smith announced in a radio interview that he would challenge for the leadership of the Labour Party.

He cancelled his campaign launch event two days later following the terror attack in Nice, before launching his leadership bid on July 17, stating that the contender with the most nominations should stand alone against Mr Corbyn.

On Tuesday Angela Eagle withdrew from the Labour leadership race and gave her support to Mr Smith after he secured 88 nominations from MPs and two from MEPs.

Speaking to ITV News, Mr Smith said he was "incredibly proud" to have the support of his colleagues, after being declared as the sole challenger to Jeremy Corbyn's leadership. He said Labour "will split and be destroyed" under Mr Corbyn.