Labour membership to hit 600,000

A further surge in Labour membership has further bolstered Jeremy Corbyn's place at the top of the party.

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Labour membership is on course to hit 600,000, a half-century peak, after a second successive day in which more than 100,000 people have applied to become party members.

In the ongoing struggle over Jeremy Corbyn's position, both loyalists and rebels have been recruiting. Corbyn's allies have done so via Momentum, the continuation of his leadership campaign, while  “Saving Labour”, an anti-Corbyn group, has secured the support of several high-profile celebrity supporters, including Jason Isaacs and JK Rowling. As far as social media presence is concerned, Saving Labour has over 4,000 likes at time of writing, while Momentum has 53,808. 

Local parties – who are responsible for vetting new members in the first instance – report that the bulk of joiners who have responded to welcome emails or messages from MPs are strongly opposed to any attempt to remove Corbyn, in a boost to the Labour leader after a prolonged attempt to dislodge him. However, the bulk of new members' voting intentions remain unclear, as most applicants have yet to have their applications rubber-stamped.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman and the PSA's Journalist of the Year. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics.