Jeremy Corbyn's name to stay on Labour leadership ballot, decides London court

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The High Court judgement said that "it is not for the court to try and re-write" Labour election rules (Source: Getty)

Jeremy Corbyn's name will be staying on the ballot for Labour party leadership race, after the high court found in the current leader's favour.

The legal challenge was brought by Labour party donor Michael Foster after Labour’s National Executive Committee ruled that Corbyn would be automatically included on the Labour leadership ballot.

The decision meant Corbyn did not have to acquire 20 per cent of support from the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) or European Parliamentary Labour Party. It is thought to have been unlikely that the incumbent leader would have been able to garner the necessary support to stand on the ballot.

The legal team for Foster argued it was not possible to interpret the rules governing bids for leadership of the Labour party in such a manner that a current leader would not have to gain the same level of support as his or her challengers.

The High Court judgement said that "it is not for the court to try and re-write" Labour election rules.

Read more: Court could throw a spanner in the works for Corbyn

In a statement, Corbyn said he welcomed the court's decision and slammed the legal action as "a waste of time and resources when our party should be focused on holding the government to account".

Meanwhile, Iain McNicol, the Labour party's general secretary and another defendant in the case, said: "We are delighted that the Court has upheld the authority and decision of the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party."

The challenge comes after MPs passed a vote of no confidence in the leader, with near 80 per cent of MPs having lost faith in his leadership.

They made the challenge after what they saw as a lacklustre EU referendum campaign and amid fears that he would not be able to beat the Conservatives in a general election.

Read more: It's not one rule for them, another for Jeremy, court hears

Pontypridd MP Owen Smith was chosen by a large section of the party as the unity candidate to stand against Corbyn, with former shadow business secretary Angela Eagle having stood aside.

Smith has said that both he and Corbyn are "radicals", but that he has a pragmatism to his socialism that could see him lead his party into government.

Read more: Corbyn has an over 80 per cent chance of retaining leadership, bookie says

A large segment of Labour politicians fear Corbyn still appears to have the overwhelming support of the grassroots.

Some 183,000 registered supports signed up to vote in the election in a 48-hour window last week, with the majority thought to back the Islington North MP.

Recent polling by YouGov also points to an overwhelming victory for Corbyn against Smith.

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