About 15 per cent of applications to vote in the Labour leadership contest were struck off because they were from people not on the electoral register, the party has revealed.
Labour has revised down its estimate of the “selectorate” from 600,000 to 553,954 after weeding out ineligible applicants. These included those not on the electoral register, duplicate members and others in arrears with their fees.
About 3,000 were found to be ineligible because they did not “share the aims and values” of the party in a vetting exercise described by critics as a “purge”. Of these, more than half — 1,900 — were excluded because they were judged to be members or supporters of the Green party, while 400 were seen as Tories.
Yet the overall number of people eligible to vote in the contest has tripled in just three months. Before the general election there were only 187,000 eligible voters as fully paid-up members. Now there are 292,973.
In addition there are 148,182 new “affiliated supporters” from the trade unions and a further 112,799 “registered supporters”.
Jeremy Corbyn, the favourite to win the leadership race, on Tuesday rejected claims that the contest had been hijacked by large numbers of members of rival parties including the Socialist Workers party, the Greens and the Tories.
He said leftwing supporters of other parties who had been banned from voting should have a “right of appeal”.