Published: Tue, July 12, 2016
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

UK: Corbyn expects to automatically be on ballot for Labour leadership contest

"I have taken soundings from lawyers I will be on the ballot paper".

Labour's rules say a leadership candidate needs backing from 20 per cent of lawmakers - now 51 Labour MPs and Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) - to stand in a new contest.

The row broke out after Angela Eagle launched her bid to topple Mr Corbyn by insisting she is not on a "suicide mission" because of the Labour leader's strong support among the party membership, who will have the final say in the contest.

However, controversy has erupted over whether her will automatically make the ballot paper for the leadership battle, or if he will need to receive the requisite 51 nominations from MPs and MEPs.

Ms Eagle said yesterday it was for the NEC to rule on whether Mr Corbyn needed nominations to stand.

When Ms Eagle was asked if she wanted an immediate general election after the announcement that Theresa May will take over as Prime Minister on Wednesday, she told Sky News: "I'll support any calls for a general election if we are going to get legitimacy".

"I need those who want a better Labour Party and a better politics to join Labour now, to help me change Labour for the better", she said.

"These are dark times for Labour and these are unsafe times for our country", Ms Eagle said.

The former shadow business secretary was tipped to launch her leadership bid more than a week ago, but this was delayed to allow peace talks with the trade unions and give Corbyn more time to quit. "A referendum to settle an argument in the Conservative party has resulted in the country being torn apart - our economy damaged, our society hurt".

"These are dark times for Labour, and they are risky times for our country".

It comes after 172 Labour MPs indicated that they had no confidence in Mr Corbyn in a vote.

It is understood she will focus on broad points of policy and how they could be implemented, while still emphasising her left of centre credentials, because she has one eye on the possibility of an early general election. He said he asked to meet Mr Corbyn again today "to see how we can stop that". After Angela Leadsom made a decision to step down from the conservative leadership this morning, the way was clear for Theresa May to become the next Prime Minister.

Among the many issues challenging the Labor party is the question of whether the incumbent leader is automatically entitled to be on the ballot in the case of a leadership challenge.

Corbyn said he was "disappointed" that Eagle was launching a challenge for his post and urged her to "think for a moment" about her actions.

But Eagle faces a backlash from her constituents in Wallasey, Merseyside, after the local Labour party passed a motion of support for Corbyn last week.

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