U.K.’s Labour Says Corbyn Has Automatic Right to Defend Leadership

LONDON (Reuters) -
The leader of Britain's opposition Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, arrives for a meeting of the party's NEC, in central London, Britain July 12, 2016.            REUTERS/Neil Hall
The leader of Britain’s opposition Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, arrives for a meeting of the party’s national executive committee in London on Tuesday. (Reuters/Neil Hall)

British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn’s name should automatically be on the ballot paper in the Labour Party’s leadership contest, the party’s national executive committee (NEC) ruled on Tuesday.

The decision boosts Corbyn’s chances of resisting an attempt to oust him, but could be subject to a legal challenge from opponents who say he should have to gather support from 51 MPs – something he may struggle to do.

“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 (PLP) and the European Parliamentary Labour Party (EPLP),” a party spokesman said in a statement.

“All other leadership candidates will require nominations from 20 percent of the PLP and EPLP.”