Labour's Owen Smith tells ITV News court ruling against party vote freeze 'favours Corbyn'

Owen Smith has admitted he faces an uphill battle after a court ruled against a party voting freeze imposed on 130,000 new Labour supporters.

Mr Smith told ITV News: "It's probably going to be in Jeremy Corbyn's favour, it's very clear I'm the underdog in this."

A High Court ruling on Monday means new supporters will be able to vote in the party's leadership election, and most are expected to back incumbent leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The legal challenge was brought by five new supporters who were subject to the freeze, imposed by the Labour party's national executive committee (NEC).

  • Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand

The NEC had sought to prevent supporters from voting unless they had at least six months continuous membership of the party up to July 12, but Mr Justice Hickinbottom on Monday ruled that was unlawful.

Mr Smith could take some comfort on Wednesday, after it emerged members of the GMB union, one of the biggest affiliated to the party, likely back Mr Smith following a consultative ballot.

But many in the grassroots of the party are thought to back Mr Corbyn.

Also in his interview with ITV News, Mr Smith criticised the decision to award the contract to run the Labour party conference to G4S, the security firm that has faced a string of high-profile contract problems in recent years.