When the UK Labour party announced its leadership challenge, the first thing it did was disenfranchise more than a hundred thousand of its own members least they vote for the "wrong" candidate. The good news is that the High Court yesterday overturned that decision, restoring the voting rights of 130,000 members and requiring that £25 "supporter fees" paid to gain the right to vote be repaid. The bad news? Labour is of course appealing:
Labour has decided to appeal a High Court ruling, passed down on Monday which suggested the party’s governing body had illegally barred 130,000 people from voting in the leadership election.
Judges had ruled in favour of five supporters who accused the party's governing body – the National Executive Committee (NEC) – of unlawfully "freezing" them out, even though they had "paid their dues", when it decided that full members would not be able to vote unless they had six months' continuous membership up to July 12.
A spokesperson for the party said: “The Procedures Committee of the NEC has decided that the Labour Party will appeal this ruling in order to defend the NEC’s right, as Labour’s governing body, to uphold the rule book, including the use of freeze dates.”
Because apparently the last thing a democratic socialist party wants is for its members to be able to vote on its leadership. It's absurd, its undemocratic, and it really makes you ask: why does UK Labour hate democracy?