Corbyn sees off bid to stop him standing for Labour leadership

Party leader calls case ‘waste of time and resources’ after High Court rules in his favour

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn following the result of the High Court challenge over Labour’s leadership contest in London. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn following the result of the High Court challenge over Labour’s leadership contest in London. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

 

Jeremy Corbyn has denounced a legal bid to block him from standing in the Labour leadership election as “a waste of time and resources” after it was rejected by a High Court judge.

The ruling allows the contest between Mr Corbyn and challenger Owen Smith to continue as planned, with the result due on September 24th following a postal ballot of members, affiliates and registered supporters.

Labour donor Michael Foster failed in his attempt to overturn the Labour Party’s decision to guarantee Mr Corbyn a place on the ballot paper for the election.

He claimed the Labour Party’s rules were “misapplied” when its national executive committee (NEC) voted by a majority of 18 to 14 that Mr Corbyn should have an automatic place without needing to obtain the backing of 20 per cent of Labour MPs and MEPs – 51 nominations.

Mr Corbyn was not at London’s High Court on Thursday when Mr Justice David Foskett dismissed Mr Foster’s claim.

The Labour leader said in a statement: “I welcome the decision by the High Court to respect the democracy of the Labour Party.

“This has been a waste of time and resources when our party should be focused on holding the government to account.

“There should have been no question of the right of 500,000 Labour Party members to choose their own leader being overturned. If anything, the aim should be to expand the number of voters in this election.

“I hope all candidates and supporters will reject any attempt to prolong this process, and that we can now proceed with the election in a comradely and respectful manner.”

Mr Foster brought the case against the party’s general secretary, Iain McNicol, who was sued in a representative capacity, as well as Mr Corbyn.

Following the court’s decision, Mr McNicol said: “We are delighted that the court has upheld the authority and decision of the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party.

“We will continue with the leadership election as agreed by the NEC. ”

PA