Labour has extended the deadline for people to sign up to vote for its new leader after its website crashed and dozens of supporters of Jeremy Corbyn began to raise concerns about being excluded. The party issued an apology on Twitter after its online registration form for supporters suffered technical difficulties on Wednesday morning, with just hours to go before the midday cut-off point. The deadline was then extended until 3pm as people continued to experience problems signing up. The glitch happened as the party struggled to cope with almost 250,000 new members and supporters, each of whom is being checked to make sure they are not “entryists” from other parties trying to influence the result. Around 88,000 have still not been vetted.
Amid concerns among MPs and within some of the candidates’ campaigns about the credibility of the process, Labour has already weeded out 1,800 applicants and has another 800 under investigation. These include more than 200 people who stood as Green candidates, a Conservative MP, and filmmaker Ken Loach, who is a founder of the socialist Left Unity party.
The first batch of ballots will be sent out to longstanding members from Friday, with a YouGov poll suggesting Corbyn is way out in front with around 53% of support. Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper are now vying for second place, while Liz Kendall appears to be far behind.