Published: Wed, July 13, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Corbyn calls for "calm" after Angela Eagle's office is vandalised

Corbyn calls for

The crucial meeting of the Labour party's ruling body, which will decide on its leadership contest, is facing criticism that it is being held at such short notice as to exclude some delegates from attending.

Following a fractious six-hour meeting with the party's National Executive Committee on Tuesday evening, it was agreed Mr Corbyn's name should be automatically included on the ballot.

"He always condemns but never actually does anything, he should call off these Momentum thugs and expel them if they are members of the party".

Corbyn said he was "delighted" with the NEC's decision.

An official from the party said: "It's probably fair to say that the majority of the Labour members in Stroud back Jeremy Corbyn".

"I utterly condemn any violence or threats, which undermine the democracy within our party and have no place in our politics", he added.

But Corbyn's chances of holding on to control won a boost when Labour's National Executive Committee (NEC) ruled that he should automatically appear on the ballot paper rather than have to find 51 MPs to nominate him, a task that he would struggle to achieve. However, centrists believe his left-wing policies do not appeal to the electorate.

Mr Corbyn said in a video statement: "It's about the future of this country".

Labour leaders are elected on a one-member, one-vote basis.

The ruling will come as a major blow to the majority of Labour's MPs who are desperate to overthrow the party leader.

"Today I am announcing my decision to stand for the leadership of the Labour Party", said Eagle on Monday.

"I am glad Angela Eagle is stepping up to take take leadership when we have such a vacuum of it at Westminster".

Registered supporter status, which gives people a one-off vote if they pay a fee, will cost £25 this time round instead of the £3 payment that saw thousands of Mr Corbyn's supporters sign up in the run-up to last September's vote.

Recently 80 per cent of Labour MPs passed a vote of no confidence in Mr Corbyn. "That's what Labour exists for and that's the campaigning work we're going to be doing the length and breadth of this country", he told a crowd of waiting supporters.

The party's internal strife has fuelled tensions among its supporters, and police said yesterday that Ms Eagle's constituency office in northern England had been vandalised.

The EU referendum sparked a wave of resignations from Mr Corbyn's policy team, with many saying he did not campaign hard enough to prevent Brexit.

Momentum spokesman James Schneider said the activist group had seen a large increase in its donations, receiving around 11,000 a day of an average of £7.30.

Ms Eagle has urged Mr Corbyn to rein his supporters in.

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