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Labour accuses Jeremy Corbyn of ‘wasting time and money’ following court case defeat

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The Labour Party has attacked Jeremy Corbyn for “wasting time and money” after he lost a court battle to release documents relating to his suspension from the parliamentary party.

On Wednesday, a judge dismissed Corbyn’s case, saying he had “sufficient evidence” to fight a High Court battle over the suspension.

In a direct attack at Corbyn’s legal team, a Labour spokesperson said: “It is regrettable that the court’s time and our members’ money was spent on this matter.”

It is understood that Labour will also seek to recover its court costs from Corbyn personally.

Sir Keir Starmer suspended Corbyn last October after he rejected a watchdog’s ruling that he failed to prevent antisemitism in the party.

The former leader of the opposition is considering legal action over his suspension from the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP), which could see him seek “an injunction to restore the whip immediately”.

At a hearing earlier in January, Corbyn’s lawyers sought “pre-action disclosure” of a number of documents ahead of an anticipated High Court claim against Labour.

Among the documents the party’s former leader sought were those related to his initial suspension in October and the decision by the National Executive Committee’s disputes panel to issue Corbyn with a warning.

Judge Lisa Sullivan dismissed Corbyn’s application and said: “Corbyn has sufficient material to make a decision on the merits of his case.”

She added: “I cannot say that there is a real prospect that disclosure would resolve or reduce the issues. That dispute is likely to remain after disclosure.”

Responding to the news, Labour’s spokesperson said: “We welcome the court’s decision. The Labour Party has always acted in line with our rules and procedures.

“We look forward to drawing a line under this matter and uniting our party ahead of a vital set of elections.”