Owen Smith was forced to tell audience members to calm down during last night’s Sky News Labour leadership debate, saying supporters of Jeremy Corbyn were “aggressively engaged” in the contest.
“I think it’s generally true, and this audience bears it out, that a lot of people who are very supportive of Jeremy...are very aggressively engaged in this contest. And emotionally engaged in it”, he said.
Boos and hisses were heard from the audience during the hustings and Smith said that the behaviour had been typical of Corbyn supporters, and called on the Labour leader to intervene.
“I do think we all need to calm down a little bit. I think Jeremy needs to tell his supporters to calm down a little bit too.”
Earlier in the programme Labour leadership a booing audience member called Corbyn’s Labour opponents “old Blairites.”
“I’m just so angry at what the rest of the Labour party are doing to Jeremy Corbyn. I think they are cowards, they’re old Blairites, everybody hates Tony Blair”, she said.
“They sold the Labour party out, the centrist Labour party is rubbish.”
In response to booing and hissing during the broadcast, Presenter Faisal Islam had asked audience members to talk about their reactions.
“Who was booing? Why do you boo at events like this?”, he asked.