Labour has hauled in its four leadership campaign teams for a meeting at party headquarters in an attempt to put a stop to complaints from some of the camps about the credibility of the contest. The party called in representatives of Jeremy Corbyn, Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall on Tuesday, as it sought to clear up confusion about the process and reassure them that no “entryists” from other parties would successfully infiltrate the competition. At the meeting, called by Iain McNicol, the party secretary, and attended by chief whip Rosie Winterton, the campaign teams were told that at least 1,200 members or supporters of other parties have now been excluded and at least another 800 are under investigation. But despite the party’s attempts to stress the robustness of its verification process, the Guardian has been told by sources present that the meeting raised more questions than it answered, and at least three of the camps are in touch with each other to discuss their concerns about the running of the contest.
The party’s official procedures committee will meet on Wednesday to address some of the complaints that have been raised.
Corbyn is the bookmakers’ favourite, with a YouGov poll for the Times putting him at 53% of first preferences. However, his presence in the race has also caused complications for the Labour officials running the contest, who have had to weed out a small minority of supporters from other parties paying £3 to join up and vote for him.
Based on the YouGov results, Corbyn appears to be so far ahead in the race that the level of entryists discovered so far would probably not affect the overall result.