160803 Corbyn Eagle Smith

40,000 ‘registered supporters’ who paid for the right to vote in the Labour leadership election have been banned from doing so. And to add insult to injury, the party is keeping the £25 it charged them for the electoral signup.

Another 10,000 people are being subjected to further scrutiny by the party’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC), meaning Labour could swipe up to £1,250,000 from its own supporters by the end of the purge. At present, that figure is already at a cool million from the 40,000 barred so far.

A controversial NEC rule previously banned members who had joined the party after 12 January 2016 from voting. But these people, along with non-members, could still vote as a ‘registered supporter’ provided they pay the fee, which the NEC had raised from £3 to £25.

Considering that 40,000 registered supporters have now been purged, some people may be both full members and have paid another £25 to vote, only to be barred from doing so yet again.

In the available window of just 48 hours, 185,000 people signed up as registered supporters to vote in the Labour leadership contest. Questions will now be raised about why the democratic exercise has been restricted by the exclusion of nearly a quarter of these potential voters.

The Huffington Post claims:

Most of those ruled out automatically are deemed ineligible because of their previous formal support for a rival political party candidate, their absence from the electoral register or because their payments bounced.

A Labour party source claims that the majority of those excluded were for technical rather than political reasons.

Source: Labour purges thousands of voters from the leadership election, then pours salt in the open wound | The Canary

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