Owen Smith (politician)

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Owen Smith
MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
Assumed office
13 September 2015
Leader Jeremy Corbyn
Preceded by Stephen Timms (Acting)
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales
In office
15 May 2012 – 13 September 2015
Leader Ed Miliband
Harriet Harman (Acting)
Preceded by Peter Hain
Succeeded by Nia Griffith
Member of Parliament
for Pontypridd
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Kim Howells
Majority 8,585 (22.5%)
Personal details
Born (1970-05-02) 2 May 1970 (age 48)
Morecambe, United Kingdom
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Liz Smith
Alma mater University of Sussex

Owen Smith (born 2 May 1970)[1] is a British Labour Party politician, who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Pontypridd since 2010, replacing the previous Labour MP Kim Howells who decided to step down.[2] He previously worked for the BBC as a radio producer.

Early life and career

Owen Smith was born in Morecambe, England in 1970. Smith joined the Labour Party at the age of 16, later studying History and French at the University of Sussex. He worked for the BBC as a radio producer for 10 years, working on a variety of programmes in both Wales and London, including Today for BBC Radio Four and Dragon's Eye for BBC Wales.[3]

Political career

In 2002 he became a special adviser for Paul Murphy, then the Secretary of State for Wales. He later followed Murphy to the Northern Ireland Office.

In 2006 he fought the Blaenau Gwent by-election won by independent candidate Dai Davies.

After his election to Parliament in 2010 he joined the Welsh Affairs Select Committee and was appointed a shadow minister for Wales.[4]

In 2012 he was promoted to the Ed Miliband's Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, after Peter Hain stepped down.

In September 2012 he described Prime Minister David Cameron's first government reshuffle as an "highly unusual and unsatisfactory state of affairs. It looks to me as though Wales has only been considered at the fag-end of David Cameron's reshuffle and when they did look at it they found they'd run out of money for a full-time junior minister at the Wales Office, having almost certainly reached the ceiling allowed under the Ministerial and other Salaries Act. It's unheard of to have a whip also acting as a minister in a department."[5]

He described Conservative plans to devolve powers over income tax to the Welsh Assembly as "a trap".[6]

Smith had been named as a potential contender in the 2015 Labour leadership election to replace Ed Miliband.[7] Ultimately, nothing came of this.

On 14 September 2015, he was named as the new Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, following the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party.

On 9 January 2016, he voiced an interest in eventually standing for Labour Leadership, saying it would be an "incredible honour and privilege" to do the job.[8]

References

  1. "Who's Who". ukwhoswho.com.
  2. "Election 2010: Pontypridd". Wales Online. Retrieved 7 May 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Former BBC Producer selected for Pontypridd". Wales Online. Retrieved 7 May 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Owen Smith". Parliament UK. Retrieved 7 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Reshuffle: Jenny Randerson and Stephen Crabb join Wales Office". walesonline. 5 September 2012.
  6. "Wales income tax powers a 'trap', Labour MP Owen Smith claims". BBC. 5 February 2014. Retrieved 7 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Bush, Stephen (2015-05-14). "After Ed, who's next? The six candidates vying to lead the Labour Party". Retrieved 2015-05-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. George Eaton (9 January 2016). "Exclusive: Owen Smith: I am interested in being Labour leader". New Statesman. Retrieved 10 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Kim Howells
Member of Parliament
for Pontypridd

2010–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Peter Hain
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales
2012–2015
Succeeded by
Nia Griffith
Preceded by
Stephen Timms
Acting
Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
2015–present
Incumbent