Picture: Matthew Horwood/getty
Picture: Matthew Horwood/getty

Back in June we took to the streets to ask the public if they knew who Jeremy Corbyn’s surprise challenger for the Labour leadership was.

They didn’t know.

Well, it appears Owen Smith has finally gained notoriety for his less-than stellar comments about women.

Back in April he tweeted the following about Nicola Sturgeon and gobstoppers:

People were, understandably insulted

Well, after over four months of pointed silence about the matter, Smith has finally spoken out.

Did he apologise? Say the joke was in bad taste?

No, he didn't regret it.

Smith told Politics.co.uk:

It was a joke tweet. I don't think it was in any way meant to be intended in any way other than that. No I don't regret it. I just think it was a bit of political banter during an election contest.

Banter.

Here are five other comments from Smith that have raised eyebrows:

1. When he said misogyny wasn't as bad in the Labour party before Jeremy Corbyn

Smith told the BBC that the "misogyny" as well as antisemitism wasn't a part of the party until Corbyn became leader.

Jeremy should take a little more responsibility for what’s going on in the Labour party. After all, we didn’t have this sort of abuse and intolerance, misogyny, antisemitism in the Labour party before Jeremy Corbyn became the leader.

2. In 2015 he told Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood that the only reason she was on Question Time was because of her “gender”.

Picture: Wales Online/ screengrab

3. In an article he wrote for Wales Online back in 2010 Smith made an awkward analogy about “Liberals” and domestic violence…

Surely, the Liberals will file for divorce as soon as the bruises start to show through the make-up?

4. In a campaign speech he said he wanted to “smash" Theresa May "back on her heels".

5. He used the 'I'm not sexist, I hire lots of women' defence

I wouldn't be represented by so many women here today and I wouldn't have so many women running my campaign.

Speaking at a Labour hustings event on Monday evening, Smith said he was "mortified" people thought he was sexist.

It has been the most mortifying experience for me in this contest to have been painted as sexist because it’s the last thing I am. And it’s been incredibly difficult to counter and it’s been incredibly difficult to imagine people might think that I am sexist in any way, shape or form because I’m not...

All I can do is apologise for any offence that has been caused by any of those things but tell you straight that I don’t think I would have the support I have had from women in the parliamentary Labour party – Kate Green or Heidi Alexander or Lisa Nandy, the chairs of my campaign – if they found it sexist.

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