St Helens MP laments NEC decision on Corbyn

St Helens North MP Conor McGinn
St Helens North MP Conor McGinn

St Helens MP Conor McGinn has lamented Labour’s decision to allow Jeremy Corbyn to automatically go on to the leadership ballot.

Mr McGinn, Labour MP for St Helens North, tweeted his disappointment at the party’s National Executive Committiee’s decision.

And he said pointed to Mr Corbyn’s team’s threat of legal action if he was forced to seek nominations to get on the ballot.

“I was on Labour’s NEC for 4 years,” he wrote. “Sometimes we disagreed with Ed Miliband, but he never threatened legal action if we didn’t do as he said.”

A majority of Labour MPs want Mr Corbyn to resign but his supporters insist his election last year with an overwhelming majority means he has a clear mandate to lead the party.

Last night, Mr Corbyn addressed a crowd of around a thousand supporters at a Keep Corbyn event after finding out his name would be on the ballot paper in Labour’s leadership contest.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves Labour HQ in Westminster, London, where the Labour NEC held meeting about the party leadership contest, as Corbyn has said that Labour MPs will understand they have to come together after it was agreed to automatically include him on the ballot in the party's leadership contest

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves Labour HQ in Westminster, London, where the Labour NEC held meeting about the party leadership contest, as Corbyn has said that Labour MPs will understand they have to come together after it was agreed to automatically include him on the ballot in the party's leadership contest

He arrived at the fund raiser at the O2 Forum in Kentish Town, north London, after leaving a meeting of the party’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC).

Supporters said a defiant Mr Corbyn spoke about leadership and the upcoming party election.

Andy Gregg, from St Albans, who was in the audience, said: “He reaffirmed our faith in the fact that change is possible. He astonished me by how resilient from the attacks from the establishment he was.”

Mr Gregg, who was “extremely pleased” about the NEC decision, said the Labour leader gave a “strong speech about what it means to lead in a different way”.

Mick Murray, 73, from Hackney, said he was pleasantly surprised at the decision to automatically place Mr Corbyn on the ballot paper.

He said: “I thought I was coming to a wake but it turned out to be a joyous party.

“I’m really looking forward to campaigning for him.”