Jeremy Corbyn says Brexit vote has to be respected
Aug 12 2016 by Desiree Burns
The High Court has ruled that 130,000 people who recently joined the Labour party could be allowed to cast a vote in the upcoming leadership election, in a move that many expect to be advantageous to Jeremy Corbyn's campaign.
The party's QC is to appeal this morning's High Court decision that it cannot have a six month freeze date for members voting in the leadership contest, and this could delay the contest between Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith.
And Washington and Sunderland West Labour MP Sharon Hodgson said she believed Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell were enjoying the confusion engulfing the party.
Bookmakers William Hill immediately slashed their odds on Corbyn winning from 1/10 to 1/20 on the High Court verdict.
Mr Smith insisted "of course it's possible" that he could still win the contest but called for the election timetable to be changed.
Ballot papers are due to be posted out from August 22 but confusion now surrounds the process.
Judges ruled in favour of five supporters who accused the party's National Executive Committee (NEC) of unlawfully "freezing" them out.
Because Labour required members who had joined after January 12 to pay £25 each to become "registered supporters" if they wanted a vote, if the ruling is upheld the party will have to refund them - possibly handing back more than £3 million.
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The five members' solicitor Kate Harrison told the press the court's decision, including the rule to let minors vote in the election, is a triumph for democracy.
Chairman of the Telford Labour Party Kevin Guy said: "It's important that both candidates come to Telford".
Steven Maclean also celebrated the decision said: "It's great news that the nearly 130,000 barred Labour Party members will be able to vote, but it's shameful that the High Court has had to intervene to make sure that a political party adheres to its own democratic process, and makes clear to all the extent these people will go to obstruct democracy".
But it was reported tonight that the party was to appeal the decision with the hearing expected to take place on Thursday.
"We should be nothing other than pleased that there are so many people taking part in what is an incredible democratic exercise". Non-members were given the same opportunity.
He said a delegation from the Norwegian Labour party is coming to the United Kingdom in September as part of a "serious effort to try to work out how we do things in the future".
Rhea Wolfson, one of a slate of left-leaning new NEC members, appeared to threaten anti-Corbyn MPs with mandatory reselection to address the "important disconnect" between the parliamentary party and rank-and-file members.
Mr Smith pledged to seek to bring about "fundamental structural reform" of the economy as Labour prime minister.