Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, will automatically take part in the Labour leadership contest after a court ruled in his favour. Legal action had been taken by Michael Foster, a Parliamentary candidate for the party in 2015, who had suggested that Corbyn needed to get the support of 20% of the party’s MPs and MEPs.
Foster said that he wouldn’t be appealing the case, saying:
“We wanted the courts to adjudicate and they have”.
“Accordingly, the judge accepted that the decision of the NEC was correct and that Mr Corbyn was entitled to be a candidate in the forthcoming election without the need for nominations”.
Corbyn criticised the court action, saying:
“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”.
Owen Smith, who is standing against Jeremy Corbyn, welcomed the decision:
“I’m pleased the court has done the right thing and ruled that Jeremy should be on the ballot. This now puts to bed any questions about the process, so we can get on with discussing the issues that really matter. I’m getting on with the job of talking to Labour members and supporters, and am looking forward to debating with Jeremy as often as possible about our plans for Labour’s future. I will take every opportunity to set out my ideas for a radical Labour Party that can replace failed Tory austerity with a plan for prosperity”.