UK Politics

Simon Danczuk calls for Labour leadership race to be halted

Labour MP Simon Danczuk

Labour MP Simon Danczuk has added to calls for the party's leadership race to be halted amid claims non-Labour supporters are infiltrating the vote.

His comments echo those of fellow MPs John Mann, Graham Stringer and Barry Sheerman, who have all criticised the voting process.

Labour supporters have until midday to sign up as a member and vote for the next leader.

The party rejects that false supporters are joining just to back Jeremy Corbyn.

Rochdale MP Mr Danczuk said Labour's interim leader Harriet Harman should halt the leadership contest and call an emergency meeting to take stock of the "infiltration" by those he said were not genuine party supporters.

He said he believed the process may have to be rerun and warned that if Mr Corbyn wins he would not be able to command discipline amongst Labour MPs - many of whom would not vote for "crazy left-wing stuff".

A total of 1,200 people have so far had their applications rejected because of their support for other groups or parties.

Mr Danczuk said he believed at least a quarter of those who had applied to join his local Labour party should not be entitled to take part in the leadership vote.

'Robust system'

But in a statement, Mr Corbyn said his vision was of a more inclusive, honest and de-personalised form of politics.

A Labour spokeswoman previously rejected calls to suspend the leadership contest.

She said there was a "very robust" system in place to prevent fraudulent and malicious applications and additional checks were being carried out to make sure the rules are upheld.

Backbench MP Diane Abbott, who stood as a candidate in the 2010 leadership election, has also defended the process saying criticism was coming from people "who think their side will lose".

She added: "This election is being fought under rules that were agreed by the whole party last year."

Labour leadership contest

Image caption Labour leadership candidates (l-r): Yvette Cooper, Jeremy Corbyn, Liz Kendall, Andy Burnham
  • Who are the candidates? Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper, Jeremy Corbyn, Liz Kendall
  • Dates: Ballot papers will be sent out on 14 August; voting can take place by post or online. They must be returned by 10 September. The result is announced on 12 September
  • Who can vote? All party members, registered supporters and affiliated supporters - including those joining via a union
  • What is the voting system? The Alternative Vote system is being used so voters are asked to rank candidates in order of preference
  • How does it work? If no candidate gets 50% of all votes cast, the candidate in fourth place is eliminated. Their second preference votes are then redistributed among the remaining three. If there is still no winner, the third place candidate is eliminated with their second preferences (or third in the case of votes transferred from the fourth place candidates) redistributed. It is then a head-to-head between the last two candidates

At-a-glance profiles of the four contenders

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