Will the High Court really push Jeremy Corbyn off the Labour leadership ballot paper?

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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13 thoughts on “Will the High Court really push Jeremy Corbyn off the Labour leadership ballot paper?

  1. John

    I know that Jeremy Corbyn has turned ‘traditional’ politics up-side down, but this is getting seriously ridiculous!

  2. joanna

    Just as I thought, they will be willing to go by the rule book if it suits them. Typical (this comment only applies to the loser idiots)!

  3. David Woods

    If the courts decide against Corbyn’s name being on the ballot paper by default being the democratically elected Labour Party leader.
    Then you may as well give up on elections all together for Democracy will be dead and buried!

  4. dogpower

    So now the Labour Party go to the tory establishment to ask it if it can put its leader on a ballot paper this as to be wrong Jeremy was voted there and thats the end of it he is the man that members want and the party should belong to its members and thats all its members no a set that think its above the rest

  5. Lynn Dye

    Of course those contesting a leadership need a certain amount of nominations to be on the ballot paper. But Owen Smith is contesting the incumbent leader. If Jeremy Corbyn is expected to do the same, that is saying that he has to compete with himself.

    Therefore, I would suggest that the reason the rule book does not specify that the incumbent leader be on the ballot paper is that it would have been considered (if at all) to be too blatantly obvious!

  6. Phil Woodford

    What kind of ‘hell’ do you imagine will paid? Some kind of worse hell than Corbyn’s army of drifters and misfits have already inflicted on the Labour Party and British politics? Somehow I doubt it!

    I personally think the court will be reluctant to intervene and that Corbyn will probably stay on the ballot. The irony of this is that if the NEC members had demonstrated the bottle to force him out of the contest, the court would probably have upheld that decision too.

    But we’ll wait and see.

      1. Phil Woodford

        Please do elaborate, Mike. It sounds quite threatening and unlike the kinder, gentler politics your guru encourages.

  7. Florence

    Some people don’t know the difference between “donor” and “owner” of the party. This one man is determined to ride rough shod over the NEC and the Labour Party members, because “his family” have donated £400k over the years. He has thought himself proprietorially in charge of the leadership arrangements. He’s a fool. The Labour party members attracted by JC have put almost £10 million into the coffers in one year, and as a democratic organisation he has no more or fewer rights than any of us who pay a simple sub. I hope when this is all over he will be suspended and expelled for bringing the party into disrepute.

  8. Joan Edington

    I really don’t get any of this. It’s ironic that the PLP shenanigans are much more likely to make Labour unelectable, as well as a public laughing stock, than Corbyn as leader is . So much for theirr claim that is their reason for wanting rid of him.

  9. John

    If the High Court DOES knock Corbyn off the ballot today, I assume that Corbyn will consider launching legal action to fight the decision (like he was apparently going to do before, except it went in his favour)? But would this be in the Supreme Court, or would it be the High Court again?

Comments are closed.