Owen Smith has failed to dethrone Jeremy Corbyn, no surprises there. The former shadow work and pensions secretary failed to get his campaign off the ground and some of the heavyweight self-styled Labour MPs were absent from the campaign.

It was never going to be easy for Smith, he was little-known outside Westminster and Corbyn had his own battle hardened Praetorian Guard in the shape of Momentum. The Pontypridd MP has even admitted to a "long and bruising" campaign, in what almost looked like a concession letter ahead of today's announcement.

But beyond the gaffes (talks with the Islamic State, for one, "smash Theresa May back on her heels" another) it was not all bad. Here, IBTimes UK lists some of Smith's achievements in the latest Labour leadership election.

GMB Endorsement

The 622,000 strong GMB Union, the UK's third largest trade union, was the only Labour-affiliated union to give its members a direct say on who it would endorse for the leadership.

The members backed Smith 60% to 40%, with more than 43,000 people taking part in the ballot. The decision was a coup for Smith since Corbyn had the might of Unite, Unison and a number of other trade unions behind him.

Taking on Corbyn

Corbyn's rivals were relatively soft on the left-winger during the last leadership election, but Smith eventually turned up the heat on the Labour leader this time around.

He went as far was warning that Labour faced "division and destruction" under Corbyn's leadership, while painting himself as the "unity" candidate. But Smith's adversarial approach was deployed near the end of the campaign, another case of too little, too late.

EU referendum two

One of Smith's most controversial policies was to hold a referendum to "ratify" Brexit. The proposal was risky, Labour heartlands in the Midlands and the north of England had backed Leave.

But the plan, whatever its merits, allowed Smith to cut through in the media and boost his profile among Labour supporters as he ramped up a debate on the EU issue, an area where Corbyn had been notably ambiguous during the referendum campaign.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron later adopted a very similar policy to Smith's, though if he had won the Labour leadership, he would have arguably alienated half the UK electorate.


British politics is dominated by three issues: the economy, immigration/the EU and the NHS. That is partly why Smith continually compared himself to NHS founder and Labour hero Nye Bevan throughout the campaign.

The leadership challenger also provided new policy on the NHS, promising to invest more than £60bn ($77.8bn) extra in the health service across the next five years.

Smith planned to raise the money by introduce new taxes "on the wealthiest" and by reversing the government's planned reductions to Corporation Tax. The proposal was announced more than a week ahead of Corbyn's plan to "nationalise" the NHS, allowing Smith to claim he led the debate on the health service in the leadership campaign.

Owen Smith responds to defeat

"I want to congratulate Jeremy Corbyn on his clear win in this leadership contest. There is no doubt that the Labour Party has changed under his leadership, he has mobilised huge numbers of people over the last 12 months, many of whom are here at Conference in Liverpool, and he deserves the credit for that, and for winning this contest so decisively.

"I am humbled by the more than 193,000 members, supporters and trade union members who have put their faith in me and I want to say a big thank you to them.

It has been a privilege to meet so many of you, who have given so much of your lives to Labour, and I promise to continue to work for what we all believe in. It has been a huge honour for me to stand for leader of our great party and I am also deeply grateful to my Parliamentary colleagues for nominating me.

"I entered this race because I didn't think Jeremy was providing the leadership we needed, and because I felt we must renew our party to win back the voters' trust and respect. However, I fully accept and respect the result and I will reflect carefully on it and on what role I might play in future to help Labour win again for the British people.

"I have no time for talk of a split in the Labour movement - it's Labour or nothing for me. And although today's result shows that our movement remains divided, it now falls primarily to Jeremy Corbyn, as Labour Leader, to heal those divisions and to unite our movement.

We have to turn round our dire opinion poll ratings and take on this right wing, failing Tory Government. Jeremy has won this contest. He now has to win the country and he will have my support in trying to do so.

"Above all, despite present divisions, we have to stick together in for the long term. I call on those party members disappointed by the result and tempted to look elsewhere to stay with Labour and to stay involved. Let's work together to renew this movement and take the fight to the Tories.

"I want to say thank you to my campaign team, and particular my wonderful campaign chairs, Kate Green, Heidi Alexander, and Lisa Nandy.

"I want to thank Iain McNicol, the Labour Party staff and ERS who have all worked tirelessly and professionally during this contest.

"And, most importantly, I want to thank my family who have made huge sacrifices for me during this campaign and in recent years. I'm going to be at Conference today and tomorrow before returning home to Wales to spend some precious time with them."