Embattled Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn appeared triumphant after the party’s National Executive Committee ruled that his name should automatically appear on the ballot paper in the party’s coming leadership contest.
Following the announcement, Mr Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell addressed thousands of supporters at the O2 Forum in Kentish Town.
Mr McDonnell told the crowd they had helped the Labour leader fend off the first wave of a coup by MPs and party members.
“They have been plotting and conniving,” Mr McDonnell can be heard saying in a video. “The only good thing about it is that, as plotters, they’re f***ing useless, but don’t think they will stop there. They will come back and try to hit us again and we will defeat them again.”
However, the NEC’s decision to have Mr Corbyn on the ballot came alongside a separate decision that only those who have been members of the Labour party for more than six months will be allowed to vote in the contest.
When Mr Corbyn surged to victory in September 2015 he won after tens of thousands paid £3 to sign up as a “supporter” of the Labour party.
Supporters will have to re-register and pay £25 to vote in the coming leadership contest.
Mr Corbyn emerged from the six-hour NEC meeting to say he was “delighted” by the result, and urged his critics to unite “to offer an alternative to this Tory government”.
Speaking to the crowd of supporters at the Forum, Mr Corbyn said: “So, today was an interesting day. After a lot of discussion there was finally agreement for what we always thought was the case – that an incumbent leader would be on the ballot paper if a challenge was made.”
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