Pfizer lobbyist to stand for Labour

Owen Smith, top UK lobbyist at drugs firm Pfizer, was this week chosen as the Labour candidate to contest the Blaenau Gwent by-election.

Smith joined Pfizer in March 2005 as head of government affairs, having previously been special adviser to Paul Murphy during his time as Welsh and then Northern Ireland Secretary.

He said Pfizer had been 'extremely supportive' of his aspirations to public office. It is not known what plans the firm has to replace Smith should he get elected.

The Blaenau Gwent poll follows the death of independent MP Peter Law, who took the Welsh seat from Labour in last year's general election. He had been expelled from the party for fighting it over all-women shortlists of parliamentary candidates.

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