Tom Blenkinsop reveals why he’s backing Owen Smith to be the next leader of the Labour Party

Tom Blenkinsop (left) is backing Owen Smith Credit: PA

The Labour Member of Parliament for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, Tom Blenkinsop, has revealed his reasons for backing Labour leadership candidate Owen Smith.

Tom has backed the Parliamentary Labour Party's vote of No confidence in Jeremy Corbyn and has nominated Owen Smith to stand against him in the Labour leadership contest.

Owen is principled, passionate, radical and credible. He's the candidate we need to unite us as a party and defeat Tory austerity. I've seen him in Parliament and can tell you what a brilliant Labour voice he is. During the last year, he's secured major victories over cruel Tory cuts to disability benefits and over cuts to support for low-paid workers. Before that, as Shadow of Secretary of State, he stood up for Wales when the cuts were hammering working families and rallied against the Tory tax cuts for millionaires and when he was in Labour's health team, he fought the Tories' plans to privatise the NHS tooth and nail. I've recently been contacted by a young Hemlington resident who works in the NHS and voted for the Conservatives at the last election, in his letter he says that he would 'love to be given the opportunity to vote for a Labour Party I can believe in' and I believe that with Owen Smith will give him that chance. Only an Owen Smith led Labour Party can reach out to the large section of voters who are crying out for an effective opposition to hold the Tories to account at a time when Brexit will change the shape of the country for decades to come. Labour voters and the country deserve better than Jeremy Corbyn."

Tom Blenkinsop MP