Jeremy Corbyn wins legal fight to stay on leadership ballot
Jeremy Corbyn has won his bid to personally fight a legal action aimed at overturning the Labour Party’s decision to guarantee him a place on the leadership ballot.
A High Court claim brought by Labour donor Michael Foster, a former parliamentary candidate, is currently against one named defendant – the party’s general secretary Iain McNicol, who is being sued in a representative capacity.
But Mr Corbyn wanted to be added as a party to the proceedings as second defendant.
Today, Master Victoria McCloud said the balance came down in favour of Mr Corbyn, who was not in court, being joined.
Mr Corbyn’s lawyers argued that his personal interest in the litigation was “pressing and obvious” and distinguished him from the general body of members represented by Mr McNicol.
The case, which is expected to be heard on July 26 – with Mr Corbyn attending – follows the decision of Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) that the leader should automatically be included in the contest.
NEC members wrestled with legal advice for six hours over whether Mr Corbyn would need to secure 51 nominations to make it on to the ballot paper after both sides insisted the party rulebook backed their case.
Master McCloud heard that Mr Foster’s legal action sought to reverse this decision so that Mr Corbyn would not be eligible to stand as a candidate unless he secured the requisite number of nominations in the time limited by the rules.