34 Facts About Owen Smith


Owen Smith went on to serve as Shadow Welsh Secretary under Ed Miliband from 2012 until 2015, and then as Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary under Jeremy Corbyn from 2015 until he resigned in June 2016.


Owen Smith was dismissed from this post on 23 March 2018 after he publicly called for a referendum on the final Brexit deal, a position that was against Labour policy of the time.


Owen Smith was born in Morecambe, Lancashire, the son of the Welsh historian and writer David "Dai" Owen Smith, a former chair of the Arts Council of Wales.


Owen Smith was brought up in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, and attended Barry Comprehensive School.


Owen Smith joined the Labour Party aged 16, and later read History and French at the University of Sussex.


Owen Smith worked for the BBC as a radio producer for ten years, working on a variety of programmes in both Wales and London, including Today for BBC Radio 4 and the weekly politics programme Dragon's Eye for BBC Cymru Wales.


Owen Smith then worked in the biotechnology and pharmaceuticals industry for five years, and became Head of Policy and Government Relations for pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer in 2005.

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Owen Smith became a special adviser for Paul Murphy, at the time the Secretary of State for Wales, in 2002.


Owen Smith later followed Murphy to the Northern Ireland Office.


In 2006, while still Head of Policy and Government Relations for Pfizer, Owen Smith fought the 2006 Blaenau Gwent by-election.


Owen Smith then joined the Welsh Affairs Select Committee and was appointed as a Shadow minister for Wales.


In 2012, Owen Smith was promoted to Ed Miliband's Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, after Peter Hain stepped down.


Owen Smith was named as a potential contender in the 2015 Labour leadership election to replace Ed Miliband.


On 9 January 2016, Owen Smith voiced an interest in eventually standing for the Labour leadership, saying it would be an "incredible honour and privilege" to do the job.


On 27 June 2016, following the mass resignations from the Labour Shadow Cabinet after the British electorate narrowly voted in favour of leaving the European Union in the EU membership referendum, Owen Smith announced he was stepping down as the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.


On 29 October 2019, following a Parliamentary vote to back a 12 December general election, Owen Smith tendered his resignation as an MP.


On 10 July 2016, Owen Smith claimed Corbyn and his allies were prepared to see the party split.


Three days later, on 13 July 2016, Owen Smith announced his intention to stand as a candidate in the leadership ballot.


Owen Smith will be at my right hand throughout this contest and if I am successful, Angela will be alongside me as my right hand woman.


Owen Smith announced on Twitter that he had written to Corbyn about his intention to step down at the 2019 general election.


Owen Smith has named Nye Bevan, who served as Minister of Health, as his political hero.


Owen Smith is a member of Labour Friends of Israel.


Owen Smith opposes austerity and has been strongly critical of Chancellor George Osborne's plan of public spending cuts.


Owen Smith followed the party whip by abstaining on the Welfare Reform and Work bill at its second reading on 20 July 2015, after voting for an amendment that set out the party's objections to aspects of it.


In regard to tax, Owen Smith promised to reverse cuts in Corporation Tax due to take place up until 2020 whilst reversing the cuts made to Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax in the Summer Budget.

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Owen Smith said he would reintroduce Wage Councils for hotel, shop and care workers, most of which were abolished during the 1980s and 1990s.


Owen Smith proposed replacing the current Department of Work and Pensions with a new 'Ministry for Labour' and a revived Department for Social Security.


Owen Smith supported the campaign for the UK to remain in the European Union, at the referendum on Britain's membership in June 2016.


Owen Smith stated in November 2016 that he would vote against the invocation of Article 50 to commence Brexit negotiations, and reaffirmed he supported a second referendum on British withdrawal from the EU.


In 2006, Owen Smith said while discussing the Iraq War that "I thought at the time the tradition of the Labour Party and the tradition of left-wing engagement to remove dictators was a noble, valuable tradition".


Owen Smith was amongst the 557 MPs who voted in favour of the UN-backed air strikes on Libya in 2011.


In December 2015, Owen Smith sided with the Labour leadership by opposing the government's plans for military intervention in the Syrian civil war.


Owen Smith called for lessons to be learned from past intervention in the Middle East and a more diplomatic approach to be pursued instead.


Owen Smith is married to Liz, who is a primary school teacher, and moved to Llantrisant after being elected in 2010, having previously lived in Surrey.