Labour face court challenge over Corbyn leadership ballot

"What I am against is the apparent manipulation of the rules, which has elevated one member, in this case Jeremy Corbyn, above all other members", Foster said, referring to the party's National Executive Committee's (NEC) decision to automatically include Corbyn on the ballot without securing nominations from 51 MPs or MEPs.

She referred to rules that come into force for two days next week and will allow non-party members to register and become supporters in exchange for a fee of £25.

"So I'm on the ballot paper. and we will be campaigning on all the things that matter".

The leadership contest was triggered on Monday when lawmaker Angela Eagle challenged Corbyn.

Of those surveyed, 44 per cent said they would "definitely" vote for Corbyn in September, 13 per cent said they would "probably" vote for him and 40 per cent said they would not.

"That will strengthen our party in order to defeat this Tory government and bring in a government that cares for the people", he said.

The decision is a major blow to the majority of Labour's MPs who are desperate to overthrow the leader they say does not have what it takes to lead them to power.

The Labour parliamentary party might be "self-destructing" under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, but his popularity among grassroots members is growing, according to the latest YouGov poll.

In the last leadership contest, the Labour Party reported that about 552,000 members and supporters were eligible to vote; about 292,000 full members, 148,000 affiliated supporters (members of trade unions and socialist societies who opted to affiliate), plus 112,000 registered supporters. "There were very well-qualified lawyers on hand to advise, so I think we are fine".

Owen Smith, the leader's former work and pensions policy chief, joined Angela Eagle in saying that they believe the current leader - much criticised amid the Brexit referendum fallout - is unelectable. "I hope you're taken to court for war crimes".

The MP for Pontypridd, Owen Smith, is expected to announce his leadership bid on Wednesday.

The party's NEC heard three contradicting pieces of legal advice on Tuesday night, including from Michael Mansfield QC, which found only challengers needed nominations, and another from James Goudie QC which found all candidates should seek nominations from MPs.

  • Joey Payne