Andy Burnham has called for an emergency meeting over concerns of “large scale” infiltration of Conservative supporters in the Labour leadership race. His team has written to Labour HQ demanding a meeting be held early next week between all four campaigns, claiming that the evidence of ‘entryism’ from supporters of other parties in the leadership election could result in the integrity of the contest being called into question. The outcome of the election could even be subject to legal challenge unless the party takes immediate action, Mr Burnham’s camp warns. An astonishing 121,000 people took advantage of new rules enabling them to sign up as “registered supporters” and be given a vote in the leadership contest, but the process has been marred by claims that supporters of rival parties have used this avenue to make sure Mr Corbyn wins the contest.
In a letter to the Labour party’s general secretary Iain McNicol, Labour MP and chairman of Mr Burnham’s campaign Michael Dugher writes: “There has been extensive media coverage in recent days regarding the procedural elements of the leadership elections. We warmly welcome the fact that the process has been opened up, thus enabling so many rank and file Labour supporters to have a say in the future of our party.
“There do however remain concerns about potential Tory infiltration on a large scale, with a Conservative MP, Conservative media commentators and Conservative councillors all having been rejected. This suggests the 121,000 registered supporters could include several thousand Tory infiltrators, as well as supporters of other parties seeking to have a vote in the election.”