Looking for all the world like something out of The Thick of It, Owen Smith was in charge of corporate affairs, corporate and internal communications, and public affairs at the British division of Amgen while that biotechnology company was being investigated.
That investigation resulted in a $762 million fine.
At Amgen, and before that at Pfizer, Smith was not a doctor, or a chemist, or anything remotely like that. He was not healing the sick.
With my two arts degrees, I am very glad that such matters are not handed over to BAs in History and French.
Thus equipped, Smith was a lobbyist. That was his job.
A lobbyist for the privatisation of the NHS. A lobbyist for a company that illegally promoted a drug to cancer patients in a way that increased the likelihood of their deaths.
It is not a "smear" to say so. It is a fact. A fact of the utmost significance to his ambition to lead the Labour Party and the country.