Owen Smith enters Labour leadership race

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The ex-shadow cabinet minister will take on Jeremy Corbyn and Angela Eagle.

Owen Smith has announced his bid to take over from Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader.

Owen Smith enters Labour leadership race

The MP for Pontypridd says Labour needs both a “radical and credible” leader and claims said he could “heal” the party.

His announcement comes following Labour’s decision to allow Mr Corbyn to automatically stand in the contest.

Mr Smith said he supported the decision to allow Mr Corbyn on to the ballot, before rejecting claims that he would split the anti-Corbyn vote in the contest.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today that he supported many of Mr Corbyn’s policies – including his anti-austerity agenda.

However, he says he has lost “faith and confidence” in Mr Corbyn’s ability to lead the party effectively and attacked some of the leader’s allies, labelling them “part of the problem”.

Mr Smith will need the support of 51 MPs or MEPs to be eligible to take on the current leader, as well Angela Eagle, who hopes to become the party’s first LGBT leader.

The party will announce the election timetable on Thursday, with contest expected to take two months.

The winner is expected to be announced on the eve of the Labour Party conference on September 24.

Meanwhile, staff at Ms Eagle’s office have begged for an end to the “violence” and “intimidating behaviour” they say she has faced since taking on Mr Corbyn.

The MP for Wallasey had a brick thrown through the window of her constituency office yesterday.

Owen Smith enters Labour leadership race

In the wake of the attack, Mr Corbyn said such behaviour “is extremely concerning”, before revealing that he too had received death threats

“I utterly condemn any violence or threats, which undermine the democracy within our party and have no place in our politics,” he added.