Rivals Face Off In UK Labour Leadership Race

Rivals face off in UK Labour leadership race

CARDIFF, United Kingdom, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 4th Augst,2016) - Britain's embattled Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will debate head-to-head on Thursday with the man seeking to unseat him in a bitter contest that has exposed deep divisions in the main opposition party. The veteran socialist takes on Owen Smith, a former member of his top team, in the first of several face-to-face debates between them ahead of a postal vote by members that will see the winner crowned on September 24. Labour has been plunged into disarray since Britain's June 23 vote to leave the European Union, with lawmakers dissatisfied at Corbyn's leadership demanding he step down in the political turmoil that followed.

Corbyn, 67, has refused to quit, pointing out that he was elected only last September on the back of strong grassroots and trade union support -- prompting his critics to back the relatively unknown Smith as an alternative. The battle for control of the party has exposed long-standing fault lines in Labour over whether to position itself to the left or centre-left of British politics, and led to fears that it could even split. Both men are promising to strengthen workers' rights, tackle inequality and low wages and invest in infrastructure, although Smith has said he is also reaching out to centrist voters.