Labour leadership: Members drop voting legal challenge

The Court of Appeal ruled on Friday that Labour's National Executive Committee was within its rights to decide that full members could only vote if they had six months' continuous membership.

On his Facebook page, Watson pointed to three documents posted on the AWL website which he said "outline a concerted strategy for members of the AWL to infiltrate (or, to use the language of the documents, "intervene") in the Labour party with the explicit intention of influencing the party to indoctrinate "more people of revolutionary socialist ideas".

"Thank you for supporting us through this, it's been a huge help to see how many of you care deeply about this unfair and unjust situation".

Watson's comments come as fears grow within the party that Corbyn will win the leadership challenge in September, due in part to the 300,000 new members who have joined Labour over the past year.

Speaking before the case was dropped, Mr Corbyn would not explicitly back the position of Labour general secretary Iain McNicol, who led the appeal.

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Ms Fordham had said it would cost about £8,000 "for getting the case even heard", but it was not clear if she was also referring to lawyers' fees.

A Supreme Court spokesman said: "Decisions about proceeding with an appeal are entirely matters for the parties involved".

"The court fees would have been closer to £1,000".

Jeremy Corbyn's leadership received overwhelming backing during a "milestone" meeting of the Northern Irish wing of the Labour Party at the weekend.

It follows a public slap down in which Jeremy Corbyn accused his deputy of talking "nonsense" - pointing out that the number of new recruits who have joined Labour in the past is nearly certainly greater than the entire membership of every far left grouplet in the UK.

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In a statement released hours later, Watson said: "I know Jeremy is very busy on the campaign trail and is therefore relying on others to tell him what I have said".

The move to set up a new official Northern Irish Labour party in April meant that the Labour members were risking expulsion from the overall UK-wide Labour fraternity.

He added: "I simply want to ensure that organisations like the Alliance for Workers Liberty (AWL), who have instructed all their members to join the Labour party and target our youth sections for recruitment, are dealt with under our rules".

Writing in the Mail on Sunday about the Court of Appeal's Friday ruling and his own unsuccessful foray into the courts, he said: "The courts decided that the rules as they stand allowed it (Mr Corbyn to be automatically included on the leadership ballot)". Since then, the five members and their legal teams have been working "round-the-clock" to gauge support for a further battle in the Supreme Court - Britain's highest legal authority.

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