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Owen Smith to launch Labour leadership bid with 'new deal' pledge

Owen Smith will launch his Labour leadership bid with plans for a £200 billion "British new deal".

Attacking Jeremy Corbyn for being anti-austerity without bringing forward an alternative, Mr Smith will pledge to invest the money into the country's "failing" infrastructure.

At a rescheduled speech in his Pontypridd constituency, Mr Smith will commit cash to housing, transport and "investing in people".

The former work and pensions secretary postponed his leadership launch in the wake of the terror attacks in Nice, France.

It will go ahead on Sunday and he will say: " It is not enough for the The Labour Party to simply talk about being anti-austerity. We have to set out a detailed plan for how Labour would replace failed Tory austerity with credible proposals for prosperity.

"That is why I'm am proposing a British new deal. It will be a £200bn investment programme, to renew our failing infrastructure. Tackling our housing crisis, revive our transport systems, as well as investing in people, to give hope to the next generation."

Mr Smith's leadership launch will come after Mr Corbyn felt moved to tell his supporters not to abuse his challengers for the leadership amid rising intensity in Labour's civil war.

The Labour leader posted a code of conduct for the leadership election on his campaign website after challenger Angela Eagle warned that Labour risks becoming the "new nasty party".

Mr Corbyn called for the contest to be a debate about the party and the country and said he wanted it to be an example of "vibrant political discussion".

In the code of conduct, he went on: "As a candidate I will treat all with respect, behave with civility and expect all who support me to do the same.

"All Labour Party members and supporters should conduct themselves with a high standard of behaviour. This debate is about politics, not personalities, and no personal abuse of any nature will not be accepted.

"There should be no personal hostility and nobody should feel intimidated at any time. So no foul or abusive language will be tolerated and all candidates should be listened to with courtesy and respect at hustings, meetings and events.

"In particular, there should be no demonstrations or protests targeting any individual candidate or outside any MP's office or surgery - and no personal heckling of any candidate at any hustings, meeting or event.

"There will be no tolerance of abuse on social media. All candidates should ensure that anyone who acts in an abusive way on social media is referred to the Party for investigation.

"We celebrate the diversity of our Party as a place where sexist, racist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, homophobic, or other discriminatory or offensive abuse, has no place."

Ms Eagle had called for action from the leadership on "abuse, misogyny, homophobia (and) anti-Semitism" affecting the party.

Her call came shortly after Labour's National Executive Committee suspended all local party meetings amid reports of intimidation, bullying and threatening behaviour, and just days after a brick was thrown through her own constituency office window in Wallasey on Merseyside.

The party has suspended its constituency party in Brighton and Hove and annulled the results of a recent election following accusations of abusive behaviour, an improper ballot and entryism by far-left activists.

Turning Mr Corbyn's "kinder politics" catchphrase against him, Ms Eagle said that Labour needed "a kinder politics in reality" and must not end up "in the gutter".


From Belfast Telegraph