Jeremy Corbyn has survived an attempt to block him from the Labour leadership election after the National Executive Committee voted 18 to 14 in favour of allowing him on the ballot.
He faces a leadership challenge after the parliamentary Labour party passed a no confidence motion by 172 votes to 40, and Angela Eagle declared she would stand against him.
Corbyn declared he was “delighted” by the result, while staunch ally John McDonnell tweeted: “Democracy prevails.”
Challenger Eagle said she “welcomed” the contest ahead, which she was determined to win.
Pointing to his thumping victory in last year’s leadership elections, Corbyn’s supporters have continually argued that he has the biggest democratic mandate in history and he will win again.
To the majority of Labour MPs, this is a nightmare. So leaders of the coup argued against automatically reselecting Corbyn as a contender. They argued he could only still run if he could gain the nomination of 50 MPs – effectively excluding him from the ballot.
The move has backfired. The decision went to Labour’s National Executive Committee, which voted in a secret ballot to reselect Corbyn automatically.
After a meeting that went on for six hours, a spokesman for the Labour Party said: “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. All other Leadership candidates will require nominations from twenty percent of the PLP and EPLP.”
The question is now whether Labour party members will give Corbyn their own vote of no confidence or not.
Pro-Corbyn social media users were ecstatic. Momentum activist James Schneider tweeted: “Democracy wins.”
— The Studio Exec (@studioexec1) July 12, 2016
Yessssssss he’s on. #LabourNEC
— Chris Carrington (@Carrot1983) July 12, 2016
But others warned that the decision meant yet more chaos for the party.
#LabourNEC RIP the Labour Party tell comrade Corbyn to switch the lights off on the way out .the conservative must be pissing there pants
— chris davies (@Chris33davies) July 12, 2016
— marc brown (@marcbro1967) July 12, 2016