United Kingdom opposition leader Corbyn wins fight to defend position

'That money has to be raised quickly, as we will need to register as supporters between 18th-20th July in order to secure the right to vote'.

Mr Corbyn said he was "delighted" with the result of the meeting of the NEC, which also imposed restrictions on who could vote in the contest.

So whether it is foolhardy stubbornness or admirable determination, Mr Corbyn has done what he always said he would do, stay on to honour what he sees as an iron clad mandate from the membership.

He told supporters he would be "campaigning on all the things that matter". It's a responsibility I'm carrying out.

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. There's been a very long legal discussion this afternoon. I think we now need a real debate about the future direction of our party.

"The NEC has agreed that, as the incumbent leader, Jeremy Corbyn will go forward onto the ballot without requiring nominations from the Parliamentary Labour Party and the European Parliamentary Labour Party", a party spokesman was quoted as saying by Reuters. The committee favoured his position by 18-14.

They ruled that Jeremy Corbyn is automatically on the ballot paper.

Ms Eagle now faces a major battle to overturn his support among the grassroots.

Mr Smith said he supported the decision to allow Mr Corbyn on to the ballot, before rejecting claims that he would split the anti-Corbyn vote in the contest.

However, he remains popular with Labour members who will be able to vote in the contest, making him favourite to win for the second time. It means more than 100,000 people who have signed up since then will not be sent ballot papers.

The incident follows repeated complaints by Labour MPs - particularly women - that they have been subjected to threats and abuse from Mr Corbyn's supporters if they speak out against the party leader.

But if the national party does break apart, Labour MPs in Wales will have to take sides.

At the union's policy conference in Brighton, Unite members backed a motion which accused both "right-wing Labour MPs" and hostile media for attempts to remove Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

  • Joey Payne