Jeremy Corbyn's supporters in the North East have welcomed news that his name will be included on the ballot for Labour's leadership contest after a secret vote by the party's National Executive Committee.
A veteran of the party's left, Corbyn was elected Labour leader with 59.5 percent of the membership vote last September.
Speculation had been mounting that the 67-year-old left-winger would only be allowed defend his leadership if he received the support of a total of at least 51 members of the United Kingdom parliament and the European parliament.
It opens the fight for leadership out to a three-way contest after Angela Eagle launched her bid on Monday.
"It is extremely concerning that Angela Eagle has been the victim of a threatening act and that other MPs are receiving abuse and threats", Corbyn said in an e-mailed statement.
He told supporters he would be "campaigning on all the things that matter".
But Hartlepool Constituency Labour Party president Edwin Jeffries said his members would be backing the leader.
The former shadow business secretary also lifted the lid on working in Mr Corbyn's shadow cabinet, complaining of "parallel organisations", "constant cancelled meetings" and a leader "pushing away" MPs.
"It was because they can not tolerate a socialist as the leader of the Labour party leading a socialist administration".
Ms Eagle added: "I think we have to have the person who's most likely to beat Jeremy Corbyn, and I think that's me".
"But I will serve and work with Jeremy if he wins".
But around half a million will be involved in the Labour leadership election and Labour sources claimed that 60,000 new members flooded to join the party after the vote of no confidence.
"I have chose to stand for this election to show the party real leadership at a time of real danger for our country and the aftermath of the Brexit vote. Democracy prevails. We will use leadership election to sign up even more members and prepare ground for general election".
Following the announcement of the challenge, Southport Labour Party has seen a big rise in membership, the vast majority of whom say they have joined to support Jeremy and his team.
But Lance Price, a former Labour director of communications, warned there was still the potential for the party to split.