Jeremy Corbyn.

Jeremy Corbyn.

We’ll have to wait until Thursday to find out.

It’s possible that Labour will have to re-open the nomination procedure if Mr Justice Foskett decides that the party’s NEC did not apply the rules correctly.

It is just as possible that he will decide the decision to put Mr Corbyn on the ballot paper as the incumbent leader was right.

He may even rule that it is not the duty of the courts to intervene in a political party’s internal affairs.

Gavin Millar QC, for Labour donor Michael Foster, said Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour NEC had “made a very problematic interpretation” of the leadership challenge rules.

If a leader had a constitutional right to be on the ballot paper, it would have been stated in the rule book, he said.

According to the Press Association, Mark Henderson, counsel for Iain McNicol, Labour’s general secretary, said the rules were not ambiguous or open to serious doubt.

Potential challengers must attain a 20% threshold of support to enable them to stand against the incumbent leader but there was no basis for interpreting this provision as requiring the incumbent to also attain this threshold.

Martin Westgate QC, for Jeremy Corbyn, argued that the NEC’s conclusion was “plainly right”.

He said the court should follow its conclusion as long as it was a reasonable approach to the rule.

“In any case, the conclusion reached by the NEC is entitled to great respect and the court should not interfere with it.”

Beyond these considerations, of course, is the mood of the Labour Party’s membership, many of whom have been mucked about abysmally by the party’s officers.

Hundreds of thousands of members have joined specifically to support Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, and won’t take kindly to it if their will is obstructed by a single funder.

A further 183,000 signed up as supporters – paying £25 each for the right to vote in the election – and it is believed a majority of these people handed over their cash on the understanding that they would be able to vote for Corbyn.

Can anybody imagine what kind of hell there will be to pay if these people don’t get their way?

A legal challenge to Jeremy Corbyn’s right to automatically stand in the Labour leadership has been heard at the High Court in London, with a decision expected to be handed down on Thursday.

Donor and former candidate Michael Foster is contesting Labour’s decision to allow Mr Corbyn on to the ballot paper without having to secure nominations from 50 other MPs and MEPs.

Labour’s National Executive Committee backed the move by 18 to 14 votes.

Source: Labour leadership: Legal action against Corbyn ballot vote – BBC News


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