13/07/2016 - 19:52

Corbyn faces second leadership challenger

A second challenger to Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn stepped forward Wednesday in the battle to win control of Britain’s opposition party.

Owen Smith, a former member of Corbyn’s shadow cabinet, said he was standing in the contest because the party needed a leader who was both “radical and credible”.

Smith launched his bid the day David Cameron handed over the post of U.K. prime minister to Theresa May.

Corbyn, a veteran of Labour’s left wing, was elected leader with 59.5 percent of the membership vote last September but has been criticized by centrist figures in the party who believe his policies do not appeal to the wider British electorate.

Speaking on BBC radio, Smith said: “Jeremy Corbyn has been right about a lot of things but he is not a leader who can lead us into an election and win for Labour.

“Working people cannot afford to have a day like this where the [governing Conservatives] are popping the champagne corks and celebrating their coronation and the prospect of a Labour government feels so distant for working people.

“We can't afford that in Labour. We need to turn the page,” he said.

Corbyn was most recently criticized over perceptions he ran a lackluster 'remain' campaign ahead of June’s EU membership referendum and overwhelmingly lost a vote of confidence among Labour lawmakers last month.

But he is said to retain strong support among party members, who will now vote in a contest between Corbyn, Smith and Angela Eagle, another former shadow cabinet member.

LabourList, a blog with close connections to the party, said the winner would be declared at a special conference on Sep. 24.

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