Welcome to The Staggers

The launch of our new blog

It's an exciting day here at the New Statesman with the launch of our new rolling blog The Staggers. The blog will include posts from across the team with a dynamic mixture of news, views and insight.

From 8am every day we'll round up the best of the day's comment from the morning papers and from 4pm we'll select the highlights from the blogosphere.

In the run-up to the general election, we'll also provide full coverage of the latest opinion polls and live coverage of Prime Minister's Questions.

Our existing bloggers George Eaton and Sophie Elmhirst will continue to blog here and they'll be joined by Samira Shackle and the NS deputy editor, Jon Bernstein.

Sholto Byrnes will post on religion and atheism and Jason Stamper will write a weekly blog on technology and politics. Also look out for guest bloggers from across the centre left.

Elsewhere on the site, Mehdi Hasan and James Macintyre will continue to blog in their normal spaces and our rolling culture blog Cultural Capital will remain as before.

Finally, a note on the name. "Staggers" began as an affectionate (and mildly pejorative) name for the NS but like other terms that originated as insults (democrat, impressionist, intellectual) we plan to reclaim it as a badge of honour.

As ever, we need your involvement to make the blog a success, so do join the debate and let us know your thoughts.

Getty
Show Hide image

Could Jeremy Corbyn still be excluded from the leadership race? The High Court will rule today

Labour donor Michael Foster has applied for a judgement. 

If you thought Labour's National Executive Committee's decision to let Jeremy Corbyn automatically run again for leader was the end of it, think again. 

Today, the High Court will decide whether the NEC made the right judgement - or if Corbyn should have been forced to seek nominations from 51 MPs, which would effectively block him from the ballot.

The legal challenge is brought by Michael Foster, a Labour donor and former parliamentary candidate. Corbyn is listed as one of the defendants.

Before the NEC decision, both Corbyn's team and the rebel MPs sought legal advice.

Foster has maintained he is simply seeking the views of experts. 

Nevertheless, he has clashed with Corbyn before. He heckled the Labour leader, whose party has been racked with anti-Semitism scandals, at a Labour Friends of Israel event in September 2015, where he demanded: "Say the word Israel."

But should the judge decide in favour of Foster, would the Labour leadership challenge really be over?

Dr Peter Catterall, a reader in history at Westminster University and a specialist in opposition studies, doesn't think so. He said: "The Labour party is a private institution, so unless they are actually breaking the law, it seems to me it is about how you interpret the rules of the party."

Corbyn's bid to be personally mentioned on the ballot paper was a smart move, he said, and the High Court's decision is unlikely to heal wounds.

 "You have to ask yourself, what is the point of doing this? What does success look like?" he said. "Will it simply reinforce the idea that Mr Corbyn is being made a martyr by people who are out to get him?"