Corbyn can stand in new leadership contest, NEC rules

Jul 12, 2016

British Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn smiles as he greets supporters and members of the media after attending a meeting of Labour's National Executive Committee in London on July 12, 2016.

British Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn smiles as he greets supporters and members of the media after attending a meeting of Labour’s National Executive Committee in London on July 12, 2016.

Britain’s opposition Labour Party has ruled that Jeremy Corbyn can partake in a contest for leadership again without having to seek support from lawmakers.

So far, Corbyn has managed to resist pressure from his party members to step down as the leader after Britons decided to leave the European Union late June.

The Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) ruled Tuesday that Corbyn could automatically appear on the ballot without any support for nomination from 51 lawmakers.

The power struggle within the Labour peaked when his leadership was challenged by party lawmaker Angela Eagle on Saturday.

British opposition Labour Party MP Angela Eagle holds a press conference in London on July 11, 2016, to launch her bid for the leadership of the main opposition Labour Party.

After Brexit, many of Corbyn’s shadow cabinet members resigned and publicly stated they had no confidence in his leadership.

NEC’s Tuesday ruling, however, could raise hopes for the 67-year-old Labour politician to remain in control.

“The NEC has agreed that, as the incumbent leader, Jeremy Corbyn will go forward onto the ballot without requiring nominations from the Parliamentary Labour Party and the European Parliamentary Labour Party,” a party spokesman was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Corbyn is accused of not working hard enough to prevent Britons’ vote in favor of Brexit.

He welcomed the NEC ruling, further ruling out the idea that the decision may be legally challenged by lawmakers.

“There’s been a very long legal discussion this afternoon, there were very well qualified lawyers on hand to advise, so I think we are fine,” he told reporters. “I am sure Labour MPs will understand that the party has to come together in order to present to the British people the option of a different and better way of doing things.”

His rival also welcomed the decision, saying she was ready for the contest.

“I welcome the contest ahead,” Eagle said on Twitter. “And I am determined to win it.”

Internal power struggle

The row within the Labour came as the ruling Conservative Party immediately appointed a new leader, Theresa May, to replace Prime Minister David Cameron.

New Conservative Party leader Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in London on July 12, 2016.

Meanwhile, there were concerns within the Labour that the party could split like in the 1980s.

Corbyn and some other lawmakers have said they received death threats while Eagle’s constituency office in northern England was reportedly vandalized.

Eagle pointed the finger at Corbyn, saying, “They are being done in his name and he needs to get control of the people who are supporting him and make certain that this behavior stops and stops now… It is bullying. It has absolutely no place in politics in the UK and it needs to end.”

Corbyn, however, voiced concerns over the vandalism incident, saying, “It is extremely concerning that Angela Eagle has been the victim of a threatening act and that other MPs are receiving abuse and threats.”

Corbyn continues to have strong support among Labour supporters, who took to the streets in thousands after the attempted coup in the party following the Brexit vote.

His leadership was cast into crisis after about 52 percent of British voters opted to leave the EU, while roughly 48 percent voted to stay in the union in a referendum on June 23.



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