Camberwell and Peckham MP Harriet Harman has declared her support for Owen Smith over Jeremy Corbyn, ahead of next month’s Labour leadership election.
Harman said in a post via her website that voting for Smith (who was Labour’s shadow work and pensions spokesman before June 27) would be “fundamental for the prospect of a progressive future for our country”.
The two-time former interim Labour leader wrote: “I believe Owen Smith recognises what I believe to be the case. That it is our duty to protect people from the unfairness and the reactionary policies of the Tories. That it is only with a Labour government that we can do that and that only Labour will make the changes which challenge entrenched inequality, prejudice and discrimination.
“The job of the leader of the party is to unite us and take us towards that. It is clear that Jeremy Corbyn cannot unite the party. The party has become deeply divided under his leadership. We have seen that both at national and at local level here in Camberwell and Peckham. A leader cannot blame others for division. The buck stops with the leader.
“I believe with Owen Smith for Leader we can get on track to put our progressive principles into practice. I will be voting for him and I hope you will too.”
Ballot papers were distributed to Labour members today, ahead of the party’s election result on September 24. Labour members have until September 21 to vote.
Today also saw an announcement by Kezia Dugdale, leader of the Scottish Labour Party, that she will support Smith.
London mayor Sadiq Khan stated his preference for the Smith, the MP for Pontypridd, in an interview with the Observer newspaper on Sunday.
Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP Neil Coyle told the News last week he too will be supporting Owen Smith, after he resigned from Corbyn’s team the week after the EU referendum result was declared.
You can read Harman’s blog online here.