Corbyn Wins High Court Challenge!

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IN A VICTORY for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a high court challenge which attempted to overturn his right to stand in the Labour election has been ruled out.

The High Court challenge was made by Labour donor Michael Foster and attempted to force Corbyn to get the backing of 51 MPs before he can stand. After the judgement ruled against Foster and in favour of Corbyn, Corbyn said: ‘I welcome the decision by the High Court to respect the democracy of the Labour Party.

‘This has been a waste of time and resources when our party should be focussed on holding the government to account. There should have been no question of half a million Labour members to choose their own leader being overturned.

‘If anything, the aim should be to expand the amount of voters in this election. I hope that all candidates and supporters will reject any attempt to prolong this process and we can now proceed with the election in a comradely and respectable manner.’

Iain McNicol, the Labour Party general secretary, commenting on the ruling, said: ‘We are delighted that the court has upheld the authority and decision of the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party. We will continue with the leadership election as agreed by the NEC.’

The judge’s decision on the meaning of Clause II.2B(i) and (ii) is set out in these terms:

‘(a) where there is a vacancy for Leader, anyone who wishes to be considered for the position would require nominations from 15% of the combined Commons members of the PLP and EPLP in order to be a candidate in the election;

‘(b) where there is no vacancy (because the Leader is still in place), anyone who wishes to challenge the Leader’s right to continue as Leader would need nominations from 20% of the combined Commons members of the PLP and EPLP in order to mount such a challenge;

‘(c) the Leader would not in that situation (where there is no vacancy) be someone who was a “challenger” for the leadership and, accordingly, would require no nominations in order to compete in the ballot to retain his/her position as Leader.

‘The Judge said that he believed “that this would be the natural impression that (the words of the rule) would make on the ordinary, objective member of the LP to whom … the rules are in effect addressed”.

‘Accordingly, the Judge accepted that the decision of the NEC was correct and that Corbyn was entitled to be a candidate in the forthcoming election without the need for nominations.’