Diane Abbott ‘banned from standing’ as Labour MP in general election

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Diane Abbott has claimed she has been barred from standing for Labour at the general election.

The Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP told broadcasters on Wednesday morning she had been given the whip back after an investigation into her conduct but would not be allowed to stand again as Labour candidate.

According to Sky and the BBC, Abbott said: “Although the whip has been restored, I am banned for standing as a Labour candidate.”

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The veteran Labour MP was suspended from the party last April after suggesting Jewish, Irish and Traveller people were not subject to racism "all their lives" in a letter to a newspaper. Abbott apologised for her remarks, but was placed under investigation and lost the Labour whip.

Diane Abbott has served as a Labour MP for  Hackney North and Stoke Newington since 1987Diane Abbott has served as a Labour MP for  Hackney North and Stoke Newington since 1987
Diane Abbott has served as a Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington since 1987 | Getty Images

Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, said this week the investigation was ongoing but it emerged on Tuesday that the investigation concluded five months ago.

BBC Newsnight reported that Labour's National Executive Committee (NEC) had written to Ms Abbott in December 2023 to say it had concluded an inquiry into her comments.

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Labour has not yet said who its candidate for Hackney North and Stoke Newington will be. LondonWorld has contacted Labour for comment.

Later, the prominent London MP tweeted: “Naturally I am delighted to have the Labour Whip restored and to be a member of the PLP.

“Thank you to all those who supported me along the way. I will be campaigning for a Labour victory.

“But I am very dismayed that numerous reports suggest I have been barred as a candidate.”

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Shadow Health Secretary, Wes Streeting, told BBC Breakfast: "I say this with respect for everything that Diane Abbott has achieved in politics, I genuinely think your viewers will be more interested in the fate of eight million people who are stuck on NHS waiting lists under the Conservatives and the risk of that rising even further to ten million if Rishi Sunak is given the keys to Number 10 again."

Mr Streeting added that he “doesn't know the circumstances” of the party's decision regarding Ms Abbott or “the basis upon which it is taken” as it is not his to make.

A spokesperson for left-wing campaign group Momentum said: "We are sickened and disgusted by this news - the way Keir Starmer has treated Britain's first Black woman MP is appalling, vindictive and cruel."

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