MP Lisa backs Smith for leader

Lisa Nandy MP
Lisa Nandy MP

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy has endorsed colleague Owen Smith’s bid for the Labour leadership.

Ms Nandy, who resigned alongside Mr Smith from the shadow cabinet last month, said the party had ignored “too many genuine concerns of traditional supporters over low pay, unemployment and immigration.”

Her decision to turn her back on Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the party attracted criticism from Wigan trade union RMT which called on her to resign for “undermining” the results of last year’s leadership election.

On her support for Mr Smith she said: “What I want in a leader is somebody who is a socialist and has a plan about where this country is going.

“I want someone who genuinely respects every tradition in this party and recognises where we’ve won important battles we have done so because we were working together to achieve it.

“I think Owen can do those things.”

In a speech to the IPPR think tank this week, Ms Nandy also said Brexit is a “final warning” for the party.

She said: “Labour voters were voting out of the EU so they can take back control of their labour market, and our response was to call them stupid or to call them racist.

“How did Labour end up in this place where we were defending the interests of capital over the interests of labour?

“A tolerant, modern and fair immigration policy isn’t easy, but it is possible.

“(The Brexit vote) wasn’t born out of ignorance. Those who voted to leave knew there would be consequences in leaving.”