Splitters Splitting? Did Owen Smith Lie To His CLP - Or To The Media?
Pontypridd MP Owen Smith, widely rumoured to be one of the centrist cabal who might or might not leave Labour and form a new party, seems to have become a tad confused...
Just last week he was happily telling interviewers that leaving the party was "something I and a lot of others are considering"
This did not go unremarked by Labour members in his constituency, who it has to be said seemed less than heartbroken at the prospect of losing him...
But yesterday, apparently 'dismissing media rumours' he told a meeting of his local CLP he had never said any such thing, and would never leave Labour, stand as an independent, or join another party. Interestingly, he also said that he 'might not remain as their MP'
In the interests of clarity we sourced a recording of the interview in which he was asked whether he could remain a member of Labour, which we shared in the hope that he might choose to explain his apparent lapse of memory. Since, like his constituent Pauline, Mr Smith has blocked us on Twitter, we may be being too optimistic in hoping for a reply.
Others (we are presuming that he can't have blocked them all, but given his history it isn't beyond possibility) have also asked whether he was lying to the media, or to his CLP. Since we do have access to his tweets, we have been monitoring his timeline to see if he has chosen to answer, but at time of writing he had made no responses.
Between Smith, Chuka 'I'm going to resign at 8pm - I just didn't say what day' Umunna, and the rest of their cohorts, the much-touted 'new centrist party' appears to have descended into farce before it has even been born.