Today the battle lines are drawn up in the Labour party as a challenger to the leader steps forward in the shape of Angela Eagle.
However, it is not a simple leadership challenge because even though the PLP [Parliamentary Labour Party] has had a vote of no confidence in the leader, which he lost by 172 to 40 and followed by a mass walk out of the shadow cabinet, something that is unprecedented in Labour history, but the leader himself, Jeremy Corbyn absolutely refuses to step down.
This itself has caused an issue which will need to be resolved by the NEC [National Executive Committee] tomorrow [Tuesday 12-Jul-2016] as on one side it appears all candidates need 20% of the PLP support to stand currently 232, however, the media are reporting that 51 are required which is 20% of 255, so I am not sure of the figures. The rules say 15% which would be 38 names.
If that is not complex enough, the leader has said that he does not need any names and will automatically be on the ballot paper, which is why I mentioned the NEC and their role tomorrow in deciding the definition of the rules finally.
One of the reasons the leader is adamant about standing is that the majority of the membership, which has swollen significantly since last year’s figure of 600,000 is now past 800,000 and heading at a rapid rate towards the million, is still behind him and he has been reporting that polls suggest the grassroots Labour voter in the country is behind him, which is a tricky statement to make when most of the Labour Mps who have been voted in by these grassroots supporters are not behind him.
Of course tomorrow the NEC could change everything by saying that the Leader Jeremy Corbyn needs to raise the necessary number of names to stand, which presently would be difficult to achieve and another candidate to oppose Angela Eagle would have to be found.