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Corbyn stays on the ballot, High Court rules

CorbynThe legal challenge to Jeremy Corbyn’s right to be on the ballot automatically, from former Labour donor Michael Foster, was defeated in court yesterday. Justice Foskett ruled, in a 17-page judgment, that said the meaning, “seems to me to be entirely clear”, and that, “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.”

This ruling means that the leadership election will proceed as planned, with ballots sent out on August 12th and a result announced at a special conference on Saturday 24th of September, the week before party conference. As Left Futures noted earlier this week, Corbyn is now the overwhelming favourite to win following recent internal polling of party members.

Additionally, nominations for the leadership election have now opened and many CLPs have taken votes, with Corbyn winning 47 to Smith’s 11, thus far. The vast majority of Corbyn’s have come from outside of London, while 8 of Smith’s 11 have come from CLPs in the capital.



  1. jeffrey davies says:

    while 8 of Smith’s 11 have come from CLPs in the capital. yes the blair factor ouch but the peasants are wanting their party back with or without them but strangely nah the leopards cant change their spots greed has them

    1. James Martin says:

      Yes, I suspect strongly that class is at work here as it is getting *very* noticeable that Jeremy has strong support from solidly working class areas and CLP’s around the country rather than from the more well to do areas (that include the increasingly socially cleansed well to do areas of inner London). Quite ironic really given that for the past year we have had the right wing wittering on about Jeremy being an Islington champagne socialist not able to connect to the working class!

      1. James Martin says:

        And this is a very good illustration, a good report about how Corbyn is connecting to the working class traditional Labour northern areas but less so in middle class London – the comment starting at 3:37 is particularly telling:

  2. John Walsh says:

    The judgment is available here …

    Re CLP nominations for the leadership election, it is being reported locally (East Midlands) that none of Smith’s nominations have been from ‘all member’ meetings. This is an important distinction – does anyone have access to such data so that this can be confirmed and part of the tally going forward?

  3. The actual legal judgement deserves to be taken note of as the action is an example of the Labour Party constitution being scrutinized in court. I have criticized the constitution several times and have appeared on Sunday Politics on the leadership rules in particular. But on the actual clause being discussed, I have never seen it as one of the problems. Corbyn did not have to get the support of MPs to be on the ballot paper.

    My view of the clause – and the judge is clear it is only one clause that was at issue in the legal hearing – was that it did not apply to the sitting leader, as the clause refers to there being no vacancy and when there is no the challenger has to secure MPs nominations. THe leader does not, as he cannot be a challenger. Even in the strange world of the Labour constitution, the leader cannot challenge himself.

    The clause could have made it clear that the leader does not have to secure nominations if challenged, but this is a technicality. The reality is that the clause only requires the challenger to gain nominations from the PLP. The judge has ruled that this common sense interpretation is the correct one, and on this one clause of the Labour constitution the position is now established.

    Trevor Fisher.

    1. Verity says:

      I would be personally against the suggestion that you should have to say something twice in order to make it clear. Surely we need concise well written rules as is the statement that, “…when there is a vacancy.” The most trouble I have ever had in written documents has arisen from using too many words, using them imprecisely and especially when saying something twice.

      It just wishful thinking and trouble making that enabled an alternative interpretation to be given the airing that it has in the media and amongst the Right wing. I shared the judgments ruling that there was no ambiguity.

      It is very disappointing that the General Secretary land the NEC lacks the confidence to dismiss the silliness over these variations of interpretation and we would surely not be advised to introducing double statements.

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