Jeremy Corbyn has lost the first round in his legal fight with the Labour Party. A judge rejected his claim for the party to hand over documents ahead of a possible high court challenge to his suspension from the parliamentary party.
The former Labour leader’s lawyers believed the documents would help him show that an agreement to fully readmit him to the party following his suspension for downplaying antisemitism under his leadership had been reneged upon; though Labour has denied in court that any such deal existed.
In a ruling on Wednesday, the judge, Lisa Sullivan, dismissed Corbyn’s claim, saying he had sufficient information whether or not to bring a case.
In court Corbyn’s lawyers accused Keir Starmer of “inflammatory and disingenuous” attacks. Corbyn believes his suspension was handled unfairly and was the object of political interference.
He was suspended in October without any accusation ever being put forward. He was officially readmitted by the party three weeks later but Starmer ordered the Labour whip be withheld for three months and will be reviewed next month though it remains conditional on the apology demanded by Starmer.
Despite the judge’s ruling Corbyn is expected to launch his main legal challenge soon, though court backlogs could mean it could face a long delay in being heard.
A Labour party spokesperson dismissed Corbyn’s failed claim as a waste of court time and is looking to claim back its legal costs from Jeremy Corbyn personally.
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