New members of Britain's Labour party win court battle

Five new members of Britain's Labour party on Monday won a High Court battle for their right to vote in Labour's upcoming leadership contest.

The party is due to begin electing a new leader later this month, with parliamentarian Owen Smith challenging incumbent Jeremy Corbyn.

The new members had accused the party's National Executive Committee of "freezing" them out of voting by requiring them to have had six months of continuous membership through July 12.

That was despite the party having given members the chance to pay 25 pounds (33 dollars) between July 18-20 and become "registered supporters" with the right to vote.

Judge Gary Hickinbottom ruled that refusing the five the right to vote "would be unlawful as in breach of contract."

The ruling could give as many as 130,000 Labour supporters the chance to vote in the contest.

The party is embroiled in a bitter internal battle over the leadership, with many parliamentarians keen to get rid of Corbyn, who they blame for a half-hearted "remain" campaign in Britain's referendum on European Union membership.

But Corbyn, a veteran of the Labour left who was the surprise victor in last year's leadership contest, has widespread support among Labour party members.

It's thought that Monday's ruling, which Labour is expected to appeal this week, could be to Corbyn's benefit.

A final result from the contest is due to be announced on September 24.

Last update: Mon, 08/08/2016 - 14:00

More from Europe

NATO strongly supports Ukraine's integrity, says Croatian FM

NATO strongly supports Ukraine's territorial integrity and the European Union's sanctions against Russia will remain...

Three detained in France for connection to police killings

Three men have been detained in France for their suspected links to Larossi Abballa, the extremist who killed two...

Political veteran Doris Leuthard elected Swiss president for 2017

Centre-right politician Doris Leuthard will serve as Swiss president next year, the parliament decided Wednesday in...

Merkel's CDU gets tough on migration, taking aim at dual citizenship

Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) want to sharpen up Germany's migrant rules with a...

Today's Europe is lacking forward-looking leaders, Pope Francis says

Europe today has no forward-looking leaders, according to Pope Francis, who hailed the postwar generation of...