I've always respected the right of members to choose who they vote for in our internal party elections for Leader. And I've never, in the past, felt the need to intervene to urge members in Camberwell and Peckham to vote for any particular candidate. But I'm writing to you today to urge you to vote for Owen Smith and not for Jeremy Corbyn because I feel it is fundamental for the prospect of a progressive future for our country.
I believe Owen Smith recognises what I believe to be the case. That it is our duty to protect people from the unfairness and the reactionary policies of the Tories. That it is only with a Labour government that we can do that and that only Labour will make the changes which challenge entrenched inequality, prejudice and discrimination.
The job of the leader of the party is to unite us and take us towards that. It is clear that Jeremy Corbyn cannot unite the party. The party has become deeply divided under his leadership. We have seen that both at national and at local level here in Camberwell and Peckham. A leader cannot blame others for division. The buck stops with the leader.
I believe with Owen Smith for Leader we can get on track to put our progressive principles into practice. I will be voting for him and I hope you will too.