Jeremy Corbyn Supporters Celebrate High Court Ruling Allowing New Labour Members To Vote In Leadership Contest

Labour will appeal a High Court judgment against its ban on newer party members from voting in the leadership contest, a ruling which delighted Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters.

In a decision that could affect the outcome of the leadership contest between Corbyn and Owen Smith, Mr Justice Hickinbottom said it was an unlawful breach of contract for the National Executive to deny those who had been party members for six months or less, roughly 130,000 people, a vote in the contest.

But Labour has now said it will appeal the ruling, despite both Corbyn’s campaign and Smith praising it.

A party spokesman said: “Labour is to appeal against a High Court ruling which said new party members should have the right to vote in the forthcoming leadership election.”

A Labour source told HuffPost UK that 60% of those who had signed up since January were believed to be backing Corbyn.

The judgment also raises the prospect of many of them demanding refunds for the £25 they had to pay to vote as “registered supporters”, on top of their membership fees.

Three of the five members who went to court did this and the judge ordered the party to repay the fee.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, one of Corbyn’s biggest allies in the Commons, described the result as a “huge victory”.

McDonnell said: “This is a huge victory for Labour Party members and party democracy.

“The decision taken to freeze out new members since January was an affront to democracy and went against everything the party stands for.

“We are pleased the High Court has seen sense today by coming to the right decision.”

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