Pontypridd Labour MP has announced that he will not stand in the coming Westminster General Election on 12 December.
The announcement came as MPs voted to back the election by a margin of 438 votes to 20.
Owen Smith was first elected at the 2010 election and ad a majority of 11,448. In 2016, he contested the leadership of the Labour Party and was defeated by Jeremy Corbyn.
“For political and personal reasons, I have written tonight to Jeremy Corbyn informing him of my decision not to stand at the coming General Election,” he said.
“It has been a great honour and a privilege to serve the people of the Pontypridd Constituency.”
On Twitter he posted an image of a short letter to Jeremy Corbyn.
For political and personal reasons, I have written tonight to @jeremycorbyn informing him of my decision not to stand at the coming General Election. It has been a great honour and a privilege to serve the people of the Pontypridd Constituency. pic.twitter.com/mIxz8spZte
— Owen Smith (@OwenSmith_MP) October 29, 2019
Plaid Cymru, whose MPs were among the 20 who voted against the General Election, said that they would have prefered a referendum on Brexit.
“Plaid Cymru’s aim was to deliver a Final Say referendum to end the chaos, but the Labour Party and Conservatives worked together to deliver this election and prolong the uncertainty,” Liz Saville Roberts MP said.
“Plaid Cymru will now go into the election as the leading remain party in Wales, committed to giving our nation a voice in Westminster.
“The last three years has shown up Westminster to be totally inadequate – not fit to serve the people of Wales.
“Johnson and Corbyn know little and care less for our nation.
“Our message is simple – back Wales, back Plaid Cymru.”