Owen Smith has postponed his planned leadership campaign launch today in the wake of the last night’s terrorist attack in Nice.
Following consultation with his local Labour Party officers, who he said had given him their “100% support”, Smith confirmed his decision to stand for leader earlier this week. He was due to kick off the campaign with a speech in South Wales constituency later this morning.
However, he said earlier today that in light of the events in France, which have so far claimed the lives of more than 80 people, the event would not now go ahead.
In light of the heartbreaking news from Nice, I am cancelling today's campaign launch. Solidarité et fraternité avec le peuple Français.
— Owen Smith (@OwenSmith_UK) July 15, 2016
At the launch, which will be rescheduled, he was expected to argue that Labour is in “deep peril” and at real risk of splitting. He intended to say that being against austerity was not enough, and that Labour needs a plan to show how it can overcome the Tories’ cuts agenda.
“This is a moment of deep peril for Labour, if we carry on as we are the party I love will end up in a disastrous spilt. I am not prepared to let that happen,” he planned to say at the launch.
“The Labour Party must pull through this crisis and unite, we owe it to the millions of people across Britain who look to the Labour party to provide hope and optimism for their lives.
“So now it falls to a new generation of Labour MPs to step forward and secure Labour’s future. I am the only person in this race than can do that. It’s not enough just to talk about being anti-austerity, Labour needs to set out the details of how we overcome Tory austerity and secure the next Labour government that delivers investment, not cuts.”