UK Labour battle in court

Missy reporting from the UK (thanks, yes things are being overshadowed by the Olympics):

Tthere was one major story today that was almost missed in the Olympic coverage. Five members of the Labour Party took the NEC to court to have their ‘freeze’ on voting in the leadership election overturned, essentially they argued that the NEC ruling that in order to vote a person had to have been a member for 6 months was unlawful.

This morning the High Court upheld their complaint, and ruled that the Labour Party was in breach of contract and that the 5 members could vote in the leadership election. This leaves it open that up to 130,000 members that joined since January can now vote in the leadership election.

This is significant as it is believed that those new members are just about all Corbyn supporters. The Labour party are expected to appeal this decision, so the leadership voting saga for the Labour Party is not over yet.

I had to search for news of this at the Guardian: Labour to appeal against high court leadership ballot decision

Labour’s ruling national executive committee (NEC) has announced that it will appeal against a high court decision allowing 130,000 new members to vote in the party’s leadership contest, as challenger Owen Smith called for the voting deadline to be extended.

A high court judge ruled on Monday morning that the party’s governing body had illegally barred 130,000 people who recently became party members from voting in the leadership election.

In a statement, Labour said it would fight the decision: “The procedures committee of the NEC has decided that the Labour party will appeal this ruling in order to defend the NEC’s right, as Labour’s governing body, to uphold the rule book, including the use of freeze dates.”

Close allies of Jeremy Corbyn, whose supporters are thought to make up the majority of the new members, had urged the NEC to drop the issue, with the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, tweeting: “We are appalled by possibility of an unnecessary & costly appeal. It’s unacceptable to use members’ money to stop members from voting.”

The decision by the party’s NEC that only members who joined before 12 January were eligible had been challenged by five people who were excluded as a result.

A barrister representing the group has accused the NEC of unlawfully freezing them and many others out of the contest between Corbyn and Smith.

I guess they have a few years until the next election to stop their bitter infighting and look capable of running a government.

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