Party’s National Executive Committee says incumbent Corbyn must appear on leadership ballot
Corbyn, who was the target of what some were calling a post-Brexit coup, said he was “delighted” at the decision by Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC). Shadow chancellor John McDonnell, a key ally of Corbyn, said on Twitter: “Jeremy on the ballot. Democracy prevails. We will use leadership election to sign up even more members and prepare ground for general election.”
The Independent reports:
After a tense meeting lasting several hours, Labour’s national executive decided in a secret ballot that the party leader has an automatic right to be on the ballot paper to fight to keep his job against any challenger.
Party members and supporters will get to choose between Mr Corbyn and his challenger, the former shadow business secretary Angela Eagle.
In an unprecedented move, Mr Corbyn was asked to leave the room while the executive decided his future. Initially he refused, but later agreed, and waited in a nearby room to learn his fate.
Eagle, a centrist whose campaign launch was overshadowed by Monday’s news that Theresa May will become the UK’s next prime minister, has said Corbyn “is unable to provide the leadership that this party needs.”
She said Tuesday that she welcomed the contest ahead and was “determined to win it.”
But Labour MP Paul Flynn said she “should now abandon damaging election with predictable result and get Labour MPs back to work.”
On Tuesday, support for Corbyn rang out on social media:
And in an op-ed on Tuesday, commentator Liam Young noted that with May’s ascension, “it is clear that the Labour party needs the policies and principles of Jeremy Corbyn more than ever.”
“Stripped of the centre-left rhetoric and moral façade, May’s platform is one of division,” wrote Young. “While the country craves unity it is being offered the same old unworkable solutions to growing problems. The political arena looks more distant from the lives of normal people than ever before. Whether it is the selection of a new Prime Minister by 60 per cent of a parliamentary party or the lynch mob chasing after Corbyn, the public face of UK politics has been seriously discredited.”