Corbyn vs Smith: Five key talking points from the Labour leadership debate

Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith may belong to the same party but the two cut different figures during their firstLabour leadership debate - which took place in the All Nations Centre in Cardiff on Thursday evening.

Friday, 5th August 2016, 9:20 am
Updated Friday, 5th August 2016, 10:24 am
Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith during the first Labour Leadership debate at the All Nations Centre, Cardiff. Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Here are five key clashes of the evening:

:: Party unity

Mr Corbyn kicked off the tete-a-tete by taking a pop at the mass Shadow Cabinet resignation which culminated in a bid to topple him as leader and rounded on Mr Smith for being one of the Labour rebels. Mr Smith was jeered by Corbyn supporters at several points after calling for unity in the party.

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:: EU referendum

There were subtle differences in the pair's views on the EU - with both hammering home the point of how the European Union was good for Britain. However, Mr Corbyn, who discussed the pros and cons of Europe, received a few boos from the crowd after saying Article 50 would have to be implemented. Mr Smith, on the other hand, said Britain should have a second referendum and talked about how bad Brexit would be for Britain.

:: Trident

The issue of Britain's nuclear deterrent and whether to renew it was perhaps the biggest sticking point of the night. Famed CND campaigner Mr Corbyn stressed how futile nuclear weapons were - and that spending billions of pounds on something that would cause mass destruction to the planet was a waste of money and also a threat to peace. Mr Corbyn claimed Britain could send a message to the world and aid global disarmament by getting rid of its nuclear weapons. However, Mr Smith called his rival "naive" and said the world was becoming more volatile and the UK's security was improved by having nukes.

:: Anti-Semitism

The controversy surrounding alleged anti-Semitism among a minority in the Labour Party surfaced during the debate and saw both contenders heckled loudly during their respective answers on how to tackle the issue.

:: Finale

Following 90 minutes of call-and-response debate, at the end of the clash both candidates were given two minutes each to say why they would make the best leader. While Mr Smith drew large applause after his polished address, it was Mr Corbyn who gained a standing ovation.