Labour leadership challenger Owen Smith attempted to woo over the party's membership with plans to further democratise the party on Monday (22 August).

The former shadow work and pensions secretary promised to give Labour's annual conference the final say on the party's general election manifesto under his leadership.

The Pontypridd MP also pledged, among other things, to create a shadow cabinet of party members to advise the Labour leadership as well as the election of a "members cabinet" alongside the party's governing body, its National Executive Committee (NEC), to advise Smith and his team on "strategy and tactics".

Smith billed the proposal as a "revolution" at the very top of Labour. But his team failed to provided any finer details on the policy, including how many would make up the "members cabinet", how they would be elected and what demographics they would come from and represent, when IBTimes UK pressed the matter.

"Details will be brought forward if Owen is elected leader, but what's clear is that members need a much stronger say over policy-making in the Party," a spokesperson for Smith told IBTimes UK.

"Members will be at the forefront of Owen's campaign and then during the policy-making process in opposition and in government," the spokesperson added. "Owen is committed to the election of an elected members shadow cabinet from across our party to advise him and his shadow ministers on strategy and policy.

"His plans will give Labour members a greater say over policy, informing the leadership on policy issues and giving a greater understanding of how parliament is best used to improve the lives of ordinary people."

The development comes as around 640,000 people, including Labour members and affiliated supporters, receive their ballot in the Labour leadership election.

Jeremy Corbyn, who won almost 60% of the vote in Labour's 2015 leadership contest, also promised to make reforms to the party's internal democracy. The left-winger has committed to creating a so called "sovereign conference" and form a charter of rights for party members.

"Labour under my leadership will listen to ideas from the bottom up – and take radical action to transform and rebuild our country so that no one and no community is left behind," he said.

"We need nothing less than a democratic revolution in our politics, communities and workplaces."

The key dates of the Labour leadership election

  • 18 July: Signing up as a registered supporter to vote in the election begins.
  • 19 - 20 July: Number of MP nominations for each candidate to be published.
  • 20 July: Deadline for people to sign up as a registered supporter closes.
  • 22 August: Ballot papers will begin to be sent out around the UK, but to Labour Party members only.
  • 21 September: Deadline for ballot papers to be returned is midday.
  • 24 September: The election result will be announced at a Leadership Conference in Liverpool.