Smith and Eagle battle for the anti-Corbyn vote

Owen Smith and Angela Eagle
Image caption Corbyn challengers Owen Smith and Angela Eagle on Andrew Marr's sofa.

Labour MPs have been questioning the candidates for their party leadership in a hustings at Westminster.

There was no vote afterwards but nominations for Jeremy Corbyn's job open at 7pm on Monday and close at 5pm on Wednesday.

Currently, there are two anti-Corbyn "unity" candidates in Owen Smith and Angela Eagle, despite pressure from their colleagues for one of them to withdraw.

Mr Smith says he'll give way if Angela Eagle receives more nominations than him (which suggests he knows she won't). Ms Eagle hasn't ruled out withdrawing but declined to do a deal on The Andrew Marr Show sofa.


More than half the Welsh Labour MPs are supporting the Pontypridd MP. Those declared as of Monday are Chris Bryant, Wayne David, Chris Elmore, David Hanson, Carolyn Harris, Gerald Jones, Susan Elan Jones, Ian Lucas, Albert Owen, Christina Rees, Nick Smith, Owen Smith (presumably), Jo Stevens and Nick Thomas-Symonds.

Angela Eagle is supported by Kevin Brennan, Nia Griffith, Stephen Kinnock and Stephen Doughty.

Swansea West MP Geraint Davies is undecided. Shadow Welsh Secretary (and Commons Leader) Paul Flynn, who has said Labour MPs should stop trying to oust Mr Corbyn, tells me: "You can ask but I am not saying."

Most MPs who do want to remove Mr Corbyn hope that only one candidate will ultimately stand against him. Ms Eagle is said to have performed well at the hustings but Smith supporters feel he has the momentum to go forward as the preferred candidate of the party's MPs.