Tom welcomes Community’s nomination of Owen Smith for Labour leadership

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Tom Blenkinsop has praised the steelworkers’ union’s decision to nominate Owen Smith in the current Labour leadership contest.

Tom, MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said:

Our steel industry is in crisis. We need a government that will offer us real solutions. This nomination shows that British steel workers from Skinningrove to Port Talbot see Owen Smith’s vision for the country offers real hope.

The Tories’ inaction has contributed to the steel crisis and Jeremy has offered no solutions. While Jeremy may have worn a ‘Save our Steel’ badge in last week’s leadership debate it was Owen who put forward policies that could actually help the industry.

The deeper we get into this steel crisis the more people need Labour budgets not just Labour badges. Only Owen stands any chance of delivering that.

The union, one of the fourteen affiliated to the Labour party, announced their nomination last week in an article for the website LabourList.

In that article Roy Rickhuss, Community’s general secretary, said:

Community’s members desperately need a Labour Party that not only speaks for them, but speaks to the country at large. At the moment, I fear it does neither.

Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership now presents a significant barrier to a future Labour government. He very plainly cannot lead a party and his continued presence as Labour leader makes our ability to build an election winning, social movement, the likes of which was saw in the late 90s and early 00s, harder not easier.

Owen Smith offers an agenda that is as radical as it is pragmatic. In a short space of time he has laid out detailed plans to make workplaces fairer and more prosperous. He has shown a real understanding of what an active industrial strategy should look like. Owen clearly has incredible ambition in his plan for Britain while recognising the fundamental need for Labour to be trusted with the nation’s finances.

Community represents workers across a variety of sectors, from the steel industry to the prison service. It was the first union to make such a nomination in the current Labour leadership contest.

The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW) have also nominated Owen Smith for leader of the Labour party.

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