Jeremy Corbyn pleased Owen Smith has taken a leaf out of John McDonnell's book with pledge to fight for workers' rights

James Nickerson
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Labour MP Owen Smith Launches His Leadership Bid
Smith isn't likely to beat Corbyn, according to the polls (Source: Getty)

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has expressed joy that Owen Smith will essentially have copied him and John McDonnell in his latest campaign pitch.

Owen Smith is to pledge to fight for workers' rights and trade union powers in his latest pitch to Labour supporters ahead of the leadership election.

He will say that the UK has "become the poor man of Europe for job insecurity and workers' rights".

However, in response to Smith's speech, a spokesperson for the Jeremy for Labour campaign said they welcome "Owen's focus on equality of outcome reindustrialisation and workers' rights - and his support for policies announced in recent months by Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell".

Read more: Labour councillors may back Owen Smith, but they believe local members will turn out for Jeremy Corbyn

"We are delighted that he has echoed McDonnell’s call for the reinstatement of a Ministry of Labour, made last month at the Institute of Employment Rights, and Corbyn's call for a ban on exclusive workforce recruitment from abroad, made during the referendum campaign, among other policies," the spokesperson added.

Going even further, Corbyn's team says that Smith's speech shows the leadership Corbyn has demonstrated in placing economic justice and fairness back at the heart of Labour politics.

"Under Jeremy, Labour has put restoring dignity and pride in our communities worst hit by decades of neglect at the core of our politics."

Read More: The mind-boggling numbers behind Labour's leadership election

Smith is challenging Corbyn for the Labour leadership after Corbyn lost a vote of no confidence in the Parliamentary Labour Party by nearly 80 per cent.

That itself followed what many thought was a lacklustre EU campaign by the Islington North MP and fears that he would not be able to win a general election.

The latest polls put the Conservatives strongly ahead of Labour.

In addition, recent polling also shows that Corbyn is set to trounce Smith in the challenge.

However, some 183,000 registered members joined in a 48-hour window last week, with speculation that most joined to support incumbent Corbyn.

The contest that will be decided on 24 September, with the first hustings scheduled for 4 August in Cardiff.

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