It seems Owen Smith’s judgement is under question again, after claims were made that he helped UKIP win votes in the 2014 EU election.

He turned up on television in Barry, standing in front of an advertising van (the same kind used by Theresa May to tell illegal immigrants to “go home”) with an anti-UKIP message. Here’s the shot:

It seems that, during the campaign, Mr Smith sent this van – bearing huge images of Nigel Farage and the UKIP logo – all over the Vale of Glamorgan. This was something that local UKIP campaigners could not afford and for which, it seems, they were extremely grateful.

While the message – that UKIP were basically Tories in disguise – was writ large, it was easy to pass over. But the picture and the logo weren’t. There was nothing to show this was part of a Labour campaign other than the legally-required line at the bottom.

Can you guess what happened on polling day?

UKIP came top with 9,577 votes – more than 1,600 more than Labour’s 7,926. They even beat the Tories (9,190). But then, they did have help.

The commenter who brought the matter to This Writer’s attention told me: “Having shown the image of Owen Smith standing in front of the Farage/Thatcher image, which is supposed to be a Welsh Labour ad-van, to several people – Labour supporters and not – they were astonished that Owen could have done something as stupid as using a pic of Farage with a Thatcher mug and a UKIP logo in a purple-coloured surround.

“If Owen thought this was a good judgement call, how sound would he really be as a party leader?”

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