Around 130,000 new Labour members will not be able to have a say in the party's leadership election after a Court of Appeal ruling this afternoon (12 August). The judges overturned a previous decision from the High Court, which went against the Labour NEC's decision to stop members who joined the party after 12 January from having a say in the contest.
The Court of Appeal decision will be a boost to Labour, who brought the case, and a blow to Jeremy Corbyn.
Paddy Lillis, chair of the Labour's NEC, said: "The Labour Party welcomes the decision of the Appeal Court. The Party has said consistently throughout this process that we would defend vigorously the decisions of the NEC.
"It was right that the Party appealed the judgement on the freeze date, just as we would have appealed if the Court in the previous case did not uphold the NEC decision that the incumbent Leader of the Labour Party did not require nominations.
"It is crucial to the Labour Party that our governing body has the authority to debate, decide and implement the procedures, timetable and voting eligibility for our internal elections and selections.
"The original Court decision had wide-ranging implications for the party and the authority of our governing body. It was the correct decision to seek clarification on this fundamental principle in the Court of Appeal."
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell, who also serves as Corbyn's campaign chief, opposed the appeal. "We are a democratic socialist party, you cannot have one without the other. I hope that Labour HQ rethinks this decision as it could leave a legal bill in the hundreds of thousands of pounds that we could be spending instead on campaigning to hold this Tory government to account, instead of subverting our own democratic processes," he said ahead of the hearing.
"Due this decision, we are now in the absurd position that Labour HQ is wasting members' money to prevent members having a democratic vote on the leader of their choice, which has already been firmly upheld by a High Court judgement."