Web Only: the best of the blogs

The five must-read blogs from today, including Damian McBride on Budget-making.

1. Three brilliant points made by George Osborne

Labour Lists's Mark Ferguson says that the Chancellor inadvertently made the case for higher wealth taxes in his Today interview.

2. Starters and Scorecards

Damian McBride explains how Gordon Brown's Budgets were made, and says Osborne and his team didn't seem prepared for the pensions row.

3. Ed and Nick get closer to Dave in MORI's leader ratings

Political Betting's Mike Smithson notes a surge in Miliband and Clegg's approval ratings.

4. The Conservatives have just lost the next election

A Tory majority was already looking difficult to achieve, says Mark Thompson. Osborne's "granny tax" has made it nigh on impossible.

5. George doesn't but Boris does ...

The Mayor of London will save £12,195.55 in tax under the new 45p rate, notes the Evening Standard's Politics blog.

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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?"