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.

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.

Musicians Union backlash over Owen Smith endorsement

The Executive Committee of the Musicians Union is facing a backlash over its decision to support Owen Smith to be leader of the Labour Party without consulting members.

A letter of petition organised by musician, Dr Dave Camlin of Workington in Cumbria, has the support of 22 members. The proposed motion reads:

We, the undersigned members of the MU, move that the decision by the Musicians’ Union Executive Committee on 5th August 2016 to endorse Owen Smith MP in the contest for leader of the Labour Party is not necessarily representative of the views of MU members. Owing to the strength of feeling among the membership on this issue, we therefore propose that support for Owen Smith be withdrawn immediately, and the decision on who to support in the contest for leader of the Labour Party be suspended until such time as a ballot of all MU members’ views on the subject can be undertaken.

Musicians Union members organise an emergency motion to reverse the decision of its Executive Committee to support Owen Smith.
MC HAMMERED: Musicians Union members organise an emergency motion to reverse the decision of its Executive Committee to support Owen Smith. Courtesy: Obtained from Independent.co.uk

Dr Camlin explained his reasons for organising the emergency motion. “Many MU members were disappointed by the MU Executive Committee’s decision to endorse Owen Smith in the Labour leadership contest, as they didn’t feel they had been consulted on the matter, and many support Jeremy Corbyn,” he said. “The strength of feeling was evident by the huge number of critical posts on the MU Facebook page. However, because the MU is also a democratic institution, a number of members united to propose a motion to the EC to reverse the decision.
Hopefully this is a case of democracy in action – we hope that the EC will recognise the controversial and unrepresentative nature of their decision, and will want to withdraw support for Owen Smith immediately until they’ve had a chance to properly consult their members on the matter.
The ball is in their court, and we hope they do the right thing.

Prominent Musicians Union Member, Pontypridd Assembly Member Mick Antoniw, who shares the same constituency boundary as Owen Smith, has refused to confirm who he is backing in the race, but is known to have supported Jeremy Corbyn previously.

Evaluating Owen Smith’s pledge on banking

Owen Smith said:

We’ve been keeping the banks afloat in this country. It’s time to start keeping the people afloat in this country.

Facts Owen Smith might want kept quiet:

  • The Deficit: Owen Smith said: “There have to be tough decisions on tax, spending and pay, but without jobs and growth we won’t get the deficit down.”
  • Work Capacity Assessments: Owen Smith said 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.

Evaluating Owen Smith’s pledge on not splitting Labour

Owen Smith’s Claim

Never on my watch will this party split. We can’t afford to let it split and working people in this country can’t afford to let it split.

The Facts:

  • Election Expenses: The Labour Party spent £56,409.12 trying to get Owen Smith elected in Blaenau Gwent, costing £5.60 per voter. The election was called after the party split on whether there should be an all-women shortlist.
  • Accommodation: Labour spent £11,000 on accommodation trying to get Owen Smith elected, which included the £480-a-week Cwm Bach Farm, at Llangattock, near Crickhowell. The election was called after the party split on whether there should be an all-women shortlist.
  • New Labour: Owen Smith was described as “A dyed-in-the wool New Labourite”
  • Democratic Socialist: Owen Smith was described as a: “democratic socialist” in the service of an American pharmaceutical company seems a pretty impeccable New Labour confection.

Owen Smith’s pledge for closer relationships with members

Owen Smith’s claim:

Labour’s greatest strength is our members. Owen will put members at the forefront of his campaign and his leadership in opposition and in government. He will create a Members Shadow Cabinet so that members can influence the leadership on policy issues.

The Facts:

  • Election Expenses: The Labour Party spent £56,409.12 trying to get Owen Smith elected in Blaenau Gwent, costing £5.60 per voter.
  • Accommodation: Labour spent £11,000 on accommodating trying to get Owen Smith elected, which included the £480-a-week Cwm Bach Farm, at Llangattock, near Crickhowell.
  • New Labour: Owen Smith was described as “A dyed-in-the wool New Labourite”
  • Democratic Socialist: Owen Smith was described as a: “democratic socialist” in the service of an American pharmaceutical company seems a pretty impeccable New Labour confection.

Evaluating Owen Smith’s pledge on Sports Direct

Owen Smith’s Claim:

Mike Ashley should hang his head in shame at this report. Yet it must also be a wake-up call for the whole country.

The Facts:

  • Work Capacity Assessments: Owen Smith said 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.
  • Democratic Socialist: Owen Smith was described as a: “democratic socialist” in the service of an American pharmaceutical company seems a pretty impeccable New Labour confection.

Evaluating Owen Smith’s pledge on the NHS

Owen Smith’s Claim:

No Government that attempts to destroy the health service can hope to command the support of the British People.

The Facts:

  • In a letter to Members of Parliament of 27 October 2006, Owen Smith said: “We believe (the early day motion) to be based on inaccurate information provided by wholesalers that we have not chosen to partner with … Pfizer ran a competitive appointment process… Other wholesalers…were intimately involved in this process. During this period they did not express any concerns regarding the impact of our reforms on either patients or the NHS. We feel their campaign to mobilise opposition … is entirely motivated by commercial self-interest.
  • According to the 19 July 2006 edition of the Morning Star, Owen Smith claimed that Aneurin Bevan would have been fully behind the Blair government’s “reforms” of the National Health Service.
  • Pay Deal: Owen Smith was paid £200,000-a-year to lobby for the drugs firm, Pfizer.
  • PFI in the NHS: “We’ve had PFI in Wales, we’ve had a hospital built down in Baglan through PFI. If PFI works, then let’s do it. What people want to see are more hospitals, better services.”
  • New Labour: Owen Smith was described as “A dyed-in-the wool New Labourite”
  • Democratic Socialist: Owen Smith was described as a: “democratic socialist” in the service of an American pharmaceutical company seems a pretty impeccable New Labour confection.

Evaluating Owen Smith’s pledge on austerity

Owen Smith’s Claim:

The Labour Party has to be a party that is about investment and not cuts. We have to be anti-austerity and pro prosperity.

The Facts:

  • Pay Deal: Owen Smith was paid £200,000-a-year to lobby for the drugs firm, Pfizer.
  • Tax Breaks: Owen Smith said: “Our jobs plan includes tax breaks
  • Election Expenses: The Labour Party spent £56,409.12 trying to get Owen Smith elected in Blaenau Gwent, costing £5.60 per voter. His independent opponent who won spent £6,756.42.
  • Accommodation: Labour spent £11,000 on accommodation trying to get Owen Smith elected, which included the £480-a-week Cwm Bach Farm, at Llangattock, near Crickhowell.
  • Work Capacity Assessments: Owen Smith said 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.