Owen Smith ‘introduced’ to BBC by own father

Owen Smith’s job at the BBC was as a result of being introduced to the corporation by his father, it has been alleged by Press Gang.

Criticisms were levied at the BBC that claims Owen Smith got a job there and his father Dai Smith did the same year implied that he got the job before his father did, when that was not the case as his father was already established at the corporation.

It has been alleged that Owen Smith was introduced to the BBC by his father, Dai Smith.
LOOK MAM I’M ON TV: It has been alleged that Owen Smith was introduced to the BBC by his father, Dai Smith. Courtesy: Obtained from YouTube.

The Press Gang website raised concerns with the BBC asking for them to change the statement on their website, because in their view Owen Smith only got the job at the BBC due to nepotism. They also alleged that he had not been a member of the Labour Party for 30 years as he claimed, because in their view he only started getting interested in politics in his 30s.

Press Gang have now demanded that Owen Smith answer the following three questions:

  1. If he’s ever been a member of the National Union of Journalists;
  2. If he’s been a member of the Labour Party continuously since he joined at the age of 16; and
  3. If he will, as Jeremy Corbyn has done, make his tax returns public.

Owen Smith got election data from delayed project

Owen Smith has attempted to discredit Jeremy Corbyn’s claim that Labour was ahead in the polls until the attempts to oust him began – by using aggregated data from a voluntary project, which two years behind schedule.

In a debate with Jeremy Corbyn, Owen Smith quoted data from Britain Elects, which on their own website admit they are not as up-to-date as planned. It says on their website:

Our site, two years behind schedule, is currently under construction, but progress is being made! Slowly. It will hopefully be live within the next few months, although please don’t put that in your diary. If you wish to get in touch in the meantime, be it data, media or somesuch requests you can contact us on Twitter or throw us on email on queries@britainelects.com. We’ll aim to get back to you as soon as possible, but as we’re currently an entirely voluntary service, expect a delay by up to a few days.

Edward Parker, a supporter of Owen Smith, attempted to justify Owen Smith’s choice of data. “[I]t’s the average poll of polls, put together by Britain Elects,” he said. “[A]lso we haven’t been ahead in an opinion poll since April.

Owen Smith uses aggregated data from delayed project to attempt to discredit Jeremy Corbyn.
WHAT WAS STAT AGAIN?: Owen Smith uses aggregated data from delayed project to attempt to discredit Jeremy Corbyn. Courtesy: Obtained from britainelects.com

Jonathan Bishop, a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, says the method used by Britain Elects is suspect. “In simplest terms, a thousand flies does not make dog crap good,” he said. “Crocels Research predicted the Welsh Assembly results accurately by using a linear regression of the past performance of the parties when they contested elections against each other.
Aggregating different polls does nothing to help improve the statistical significance of the data, so if this is the only way Owen Smith can attempt to discredit Jeremy Corbyn then we should be asking whether his £200bn New Deal figures add up also.
At Crocels Base we have been looking into what Owen Smith has said in the past and what he is saying now, and whilst he has a good record of announcing big budget projects, he has never been in a position to actual implement them.

Hedge fund strategist heading Owen Smith’s campaign

A hedge fund strategist is the man behind Owen Smith’s bid to become leader of the Labour Party it has been revealed.

Alex Barros-Curtis is the only director of Owen2016 Campaign Limited, which is the corporation organising the Pontypridd MP’s campaign to oust Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Leader.

Alex Barros-Curtis is the director of Owen2016 Campaign Limited.
HEDGING HIS BETS: Alex Barros-Curtis is the director of Owen2016 Campaign Limited. Courtesy: Obtained from Twitter

During the period following Owen Smith moving from Surrey to Llantrisant when he became MP for Pontypridd and mounting his re-election bid for the Pontypridd constituency, Alex Barros-Curtis worked in the financial services industry for Allen & Overy. Alex Barros-Curtis describes his experience as follows:

Associate in the Derivatives and Structured Finance (DSF) Department at Allen & Overy, advising buy-side and sell-side market participants on a wide range of derivatives and structured finance matters. During my time in the DSF Department, I worked on a broad range of transactions, including interest rate and FX transactions and the hedging of complex secured financing arrangements. I also advised on the regulatory requirements arising in the context of such transactions, in particular those requirements relating to the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). Alongside transactional matters, I advised a range of institutions on the impact of EMIR and associated regulations, with a particular focus on the implementation of procedures to comply with risk mitigation and reporting obligations.

Alex Barros-Curtis claims his skills as “limited proficiency” in French, capital markets, structured finance, hedging, interest rate hedging, and legal writing.

Private finance record challenges Owen Smith’s Nye Bevan claim

Owen Smith, a contender to lead the United Kingdom Labour Party, has attempted to start a viral marketing campaign to link him to British National Health Service founder Aneurin Bevan to distance himself from claims he wants to privatise the NHS.

Owen Smith quoted Nye Bevan as saying “No government that attempts to destroy the health service can hope to command the support of the British people.

Owen Smith attempts to challenge criticisms of his involvement in lobbying the NHS on behalf of private sector firm.
STAIRWAY TO BEVAN: Owen Smith attempts to challenge criticisms of his involvement in lobbying the NHS on behalf of private sector firm. Courtesy: Obtained from Twitter.

Owen Smith’s colleagues in the Welsh Assembly, however, approved the building of Neath Port Talbot Hospital that cost the private sector $87m (£66m) to build, yet will eventually result in the taxpayer paying more than $400m (£300m) for it.

DRUG MONEY: Owen Smith said that MP calls to reduce Pfizer's involvement in the NHS were "entirely motivated by commercial self-interest."
DRUG MONEY: Owen Smith said that MP calls to reduce Pfizer’s involvement in the NHS were “entirely motivated by commercial self-interest.” Courtesy: Obtained from Google Images.

Prior to becoming a Member of Parliament, Owen Smith also lobbied the NHS on behalf of the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, complaining other firms were self-interested by not wanting it to have greater involvement in the National Health Service.

Owen Smith has also been criticised for not opposing the Work Capacity Assessments because of concerns doing so would affect his party’s electability. In defiance of the incumbent Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, he supported the “benefits cap” that mean some of the most disadvantaged people in society have less money to support themselves.

Owen Smith supported benefits cap in defiance of Jeremy Corbyn

It has been revealed that when Labour leadership contender Owen Smith was Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary that he opposed Jeremy Corbyn’s call to abolish the benefits cap.

In September 2015 Jeremy Corbyn spoke against the “benefits cap” of a £120bn ($157bn) maximum budget imposed by the Conservative Government, which affects many of the most economically disadvantaged people in society. “My proposal, which the party will have to discuss – and they will – is that we should not impose the current benefit cap,” Jeremy Corbyn said. “I am a democrat,” and would have to “live with it” if it went the wrong way, he added.

Also in September 2015 the then Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Owen Smith stated he supported the benefit cap. “We remain in favour of a mechanism that allows us to have some constraints on how much families can draw down,” he said in defiance of Jeremy Corbyn.

Owen Smith supported the benefits cap, reducing the income of some of the most disadvantages people in society.
CAP IN HAND: Owen Smith supported the benefits cap, reducing the income of some of the most disadvantages people in society. Courtesy: Obtained from YouTube.

I was revealed in the last week that Owen Smith told a constituent with a disability that he couldn’t oppose Conservative Government benefits cuts because it would make Labour less electable.

Owen Smith challenged over disability record

LIMITED CAPACITY: Owen Smith MP has been accused over statements about people with disabilities. Courtesy: Media Wales.
LIMITED CAPACITY: Owen Smith MP has been accused over statements about people with disabilities. Courtesy: Media Wales.

One of the two prospective candidates to challenge UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has been accused over his record on people with disabilities.

Owen Smith, who is the UK Member of Parliament for Pontypridd, was the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary under Jeremy Corbyn leadership.

One person with a disability from Owen Smith’s Pontypridd constituency challenged his record in this area. “I asked Mr Smith why, given that the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) has been responsible for a great many more deaths than the Bedroom Tax, Labour had pledged to scrap the Bedroom Tax but had said nothing about pledging to scrap the WCA,” said resident and campaigner, Liza Van Zyl. “Mr Smith replied that Labour could not pledge to scrap the WCA because this would make Labour appear weak on benefits in the eyes of the media and compromise Labour’s general-election chances.
I am very concerned about Mr Smith’s attitude toward disabled people and particularly to his views that the deaths of disabled people are less important than Labour’s ‘tough on benefits’ standing in the right wing press.

Labour’s Owen Smith ‘planned’ leadership bid

The United Kingdom Member of Parliament, Owen Smith, who is likely to challenge the incumbent leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, has likely been planning the coup since January 2016, it has been revealed.

DRUG MONEY: Owen Smith said that MP calls to reduce Pfizer's involvement in the NHS were "entirely motivated by commercial self-interest."
DRUG MONEY: Owen Smith said that MP calls to reduce Pfizer’s involvement in the NHS were “entirely motivated by commercial self-interest.” Courtesy: Obtained from Google Images.

Owen Smith is the member of Parliament for Pontypridd and signalled his intent to become Labour Leader in January.

Some have questioned Owen Smith’s suitability to by Labour Party leader, when his record on the NHS has included trying to push drugs made by Pfizer over other brands. “Basicaly Owen Smith you want to privatise the NHS You stand at opposite ends of the spectrum to Corbyn a true socialist & always has been,” one angry voter said. “No my friend you are not like Corbyn you are in favour of PFI a pay as you go NHS,” they concluded.

Owen Smith announced in January he was seeking to be leader of the Labour Party. “I think any politician who comes into this to want to change the world for the better, starting with their own patch and working outwards, I think their either in the wrong game or fibbing if they don’t say, ‘if you had the opportunity to be in charge and put your own vision for a better Britain would you take it?,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any vacancy right now,” he added.

PRIVATE EYES: Owen Smith called for greater private sector involvement in the NHS. Courtesy: Media Wales.
PRIVATE EYES: Owen Smith called for greater private sector involvement in the NHS. Courtesy: Media Wales.

Some have suggested that the current attacks on Jeremy Corbyn – whose party has got the most seats in every election under his leadership – are motivated by self-interest from those on the right of the party. It is argued these “Blairites” used the EU referendum result as an excuse to attempt to unseat Jeremy Corbyn, who they had not wanted since he was elected by over 60% of members in 2015. Despite using the EU referendum as an excuse to oust Jeremy Corbyn, research by YouGov found that 90% of Labour Party members voted for Remain – which Jeremy Corbyn campaigned for.

It could be argued that Owen Smith has been plotting his leadership bid since January 2016, when he first mooted the suggestion he would like the job.

Labour weigh up legal advice

A legal advisor to the United Kingdom Labour Party has said that should there be a challenge to incumbent Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership that he will be entitled to be on the list of candidates without any requirement to be renominated.

The Labour Party’s members of the UK Parliament have been trying to bully Jeremy Corbyn into resigning, knowing that he would not be entitled to re-contest the election automatically if he did.

The Labour Party has been advised that any challenge to Jeremy Corbyn's leadership where he has not resigned will result in him being entitled to contest the election without being renominated.
LEGAL ADVICE: The Labour Party has been advised that any challenge to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership where he has not resigned will result in him being entitled to contest the election without being renominated. Courtesy: Obtained from YouTube.

Barrister, Mark Henderson, who was engaged by the Labour Party hierarchy, made clear in his advice any leadership challenge without Jeremy Corbyn resigning would mean he’d be entitled to stand. “In the case of an election for leader and/or deputy leader where there is no vacancy, the incumbent is automatically on the ballot paper along with the challenger(s)” the advice read.

Co-op membership surge as Blairites seek refuge

The Co-operative Party has seen a surge in membership, with some claiming Blairites in the British Labour Party are seeking a way out of the party now that members are rallying around its leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

Over 60% of Labour Party members in Great Britain support Jeremy Corbyn, with those on the right of the party dissatisfied about Corbyn’s left leaning politics. It has led to Angela Eagle, who famously survived a coup led by Lol Duffy, announcing she is going to stand against Corbyn, who is the Leader of the Opposition in the UK Parliament.

Angela Eagle criticised Labour Party members in 2015 for "in-fighting" and then leads the in-fighting in 2016 as part of her naked ambition to be Labour Leader.
CO-OP COUP: Angela Eagle seeks to lead the centre-left of the Labour Party. Courtesy: Obtained from The Times.

Eagle has said she wants to avoid a split in the Labour Party, but some see the surge in the Co-operative Party’s membership as a back-up plan for when Jeremy Corbyn is overwhelmingly re-elected by Labour Party members.

 

Bullying of Jeremy Corbyn intensifies

The bullying of Jeremy Corbyn in an attempt to force him to quit as the leader of the UK Labour Party has intensified.

Labour Party rules state that if a leader resigns they are not allowed to contest the subsequent leadership election, but if someone stands against them without them resigning then they can. Because Jeremy Corbyn has the backing of Labour’s own members his critics are trying to bully him into resigning so he can’t be reelected.

Critical colleagues of Jeremy Corbyn claim to want to offer him a “way out” of the situation of they created, but grassroots organisations are standing by him. James Schneider of Momentum believes the plan would not work as Mr Corbyn has an enormous amount of support from Labour members. “If they are unhappy with Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership or the policies which he is standing for, they need to get 51 signatures, they need to find a candidate, they need to find a platform and they need to go for it,” he said. “But they don’t have a candidate who can beat Jeremy Corbyn.

Ed Miliband knows a thing or two about how to lose elections - including by eating a bacon sandwich.
FAILURE: Ed Miliband knows a thing or two about how to lose elections. Courtesy: Jeremy Selwyn

Leaders during Labour general election disasters, namely Neil Kinnock, Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband have also asked Jeremy Corbyn to leave. Ed Miliband, who famously couldn’t eat a bacon sandwich when he was Labour leader, called on Jeremy Corbyn to quit. “I’ve supported Jeremy Corbyn all the way along, from the moment he was elected he said. “It was the right thing to do.
I think a lot of what he stands for is very important for us going forward.
But I’ve reluctantly reached a conclusion that his position is untenable.

Lord Kinnock, whose family has done so well out of the political establishment since losing an unlosable election in 1992, was defiant. “I totally understand and I completely support the members of Parliament who voted in the no-confidence motion,” he said. “They were doing the clear, honest thing when they are so fundamentally alarmed by the prospects for the party.

Gordon Brown, whose general election loss defeat was only slightly less worse than Ed Miliband’s, called on Corbyn to quit. “I don’t think Jeremy Corbyn is going to stay, he’s going to go,” he said.