Labour Brexit rebel Owen Smith on voting against Article 50: 'I'm Churchillian'

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Former Labour leadership contender Owen Smith has spoken proudly of his decision to defy the party whip and vote against triggering Article 50 last night.

Smith, one of 47 Labour MPs to vote against the bill to start the secession process from the EU, told Julia Hartley-Brewer: "I'm Churchillian.

"Churchill said that the first duty of an MP was to vote with his conscience in the interests and safety of Great Britain, and secondly he had to act in the interests of his constituents. I feel I did both of things."

The Pontypridd MP, who challenged Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership last year, also said Brexit will make Britain a "poorer, meaner place."

When Julia asked why he voted for a referendum in the first place, Smith said he in fact abstained and said the entire referendum process was "a grand failure of politics".

Listen to the interview above.