Labour leadership contender Owen Smith would 'renationalise the railways tomorrow'


At his launch to be the next Labour leader Owen Smith said he would "renationalise the railways tomorrow".

Comparatively more left wing than many in the Parliamentary Labour Party, much of Smith's bid was based around his proposed £200 billion "British New Deal", money which he would invest in things like housing, infrastructure and transport.

A woman gets on a Southern Rail train.
(Dominic Lipinski/PA)

He evoked memories of Tony Blair's premiership when he said he wanted to rewrite the party's infamous Clause IV.

He said: "I say it is time for us in words to commit ourselves by rewriting Clause IV of the Labour Party's constitution, the beating heart of our party.

"I want to rewrite Clause IV to put tackling inequality right at the heart of everything that we do."

Owen Smith takes to the stage as he launches his Labour leadership campaign at the Coleg y Cymoedd in Nantgarw, Wales.
(Andrew Matthews/PA)

The launch was introduced by prominent Labour activist Abby Tomlinson, who called his bid "a policy driven, credible, anti-austerity pitch".

The MP for Pontypridd in Wales also backed holding a second referendum on the terms of Brexit.

He said: "As the true picture of what a post-Brexit Britain looks like we need to be bold enough to say we will keep testing public opinion and if public opinion is such that people think they have not got what they expected we should be brave enough to trust the public opinion once more.

"People were lied to. The Brexiteers lied about that £350 billion, they lied about the easy answers they thought there were about immigration."

The Vote leave battle bus with the promise to send £350 billion a week to the NHS on the side.
(Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Smith also reassured those worried about the party splitting, saying that on his watch the party would not split.