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.