Labour civil warfare boils over as Diane Abbott declares ‘I can’t be intimidated’ | Politics | News | EUROtoday

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The civil warfare threatening to engulf Labour intensified as Diane Abbott vowed “I will not let myself be intimidated”.

Sir Keir Starmer is going through a rising revolt over the get together’s disastrous dealing with of the veteran left-wing MP.

The opposition chief was pressured to disclaim Ms Abbott, 70, had been barred from standing for Labour regardless of having the whip restored following a celebration probe.

She was suspended final yr for saying Jewish, Irish and Traveller individuals don’t face racism “all their lives”.

And Ms Abbott, at a rally in Hackney, stated: “I will not let myself be intimidated. I am going to be your MP.”

She added: “You have always stood with me in good times and bad and I will always stand with you.

“I remember when I first ran as a Labour MP all the way back in 1987. People thought I couldn’t win. People thought you couldn’t elect a black woman to Parliament because it had never been done before.

“But local people went out, campaigned, knocked on doors and made me Britain’s first black woman Member of Parliament.

“And I have to keep faith with that loyalty, I have to keep faith with my principles, I have to keep faith with supporting and speaking up for equalities, poor people, for the community here in Hackney.”

Furious Labour politicians, union barons and left-wing marketing campaign group Momentum heaped stress on Sir Keir, declaring “she must be allowed to stand” for the get together.

And the Labour chief got here beneath fireplace over the investigation into the Hackney North MP.

The Tories demanded to know why the Labour chief – simply days in the past – stated the probe was nonetheless ongoing when it was concluded in December.

And Sir Keir should reply whether or not he or his staff knew Ms Abbott had been given a “formal warning before they were sent onto the media with deliberately false lines, or have they also been lied to?”, Conservative MPs stated.

Conservative Party Chairman Richard Holden wrote in a letter to Sir Keir: “On 24 May 2024, you claimed that the Labour Party’s investigation into Diane Abbott was yet to be concluded.

“In March, you said the investigation into Diane Abbott needs to be resolved in three separate interviews.

“However, it has been reported that the Labour Party concluded its investigation in December 2023, six months before you claimed it was ongoing, and Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) issued a formal warning in February, three months before you said the process was yet to be concluded.

“The only logical explanation is that you and your team have been lying to the British people. You have previously said that ‘honesty and decency matter’.

“I am sure people would like to know why you did not think these principles mattered in this case.”

Jonathan Gullis, a deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, added: “Once again, this shows Sir Keir Starmer for what he is: a flip-flopper, a man who says one thing one minute and another thing the next. The public has to decide, can they really trust this man to lead the country?

“It goes to prove once again that he is under the control of his union baron boss buddies and the Left of the Labour Party.

”It simply reveals that the Labour Party hasn’t modified. I feel solely Keir Starmer thinks Keir Starmer is ruthless, he has simply confirmed that he’s weak.”

Ms Abbott, who in 1987 grew to become the primary black lady elected to Parliament, stated she was “very dismayed” at options she could be barred from standing – regardless of having the whip restored.

Friends sensationally claimed there have been some “very wicked people” concerned in her case.

Labour MP Beth Winter, from the Socialist Campaign Group, stated the way in which “she has been treated is vindictive, factional and cruel”.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan informed the Evening Standard that Ms Abbott was a “trailblazer” and recalled how seeing her in 1987 “made a huge impact on me in a positive sense of the word”.

Mr Khan added: “She’s someone who’s done a huge amount for Hackney, for London, for our country. So I think it’s really important that she’s given the respect she deserves.”

Labour MP Jess Phillips stated the get together ought to enable Diane Abbott to face as a candidate.

She stated: “I think that the delay has been unedifying. The whole thing has been unedifying. I’m not sure why there is this confusion or a difference of opinion. It sounds to me like Diane will be able to stand.

“What I feel everyone had hoped for on this course of was that, and clearly we do not know that the election was coming, was that Diane could be readmitted again to the Labour Party submit. The investigation, which I’ve stated earlier than publicly, took too lengthy.”

Another Labour MP said: “You cannot treat people in the way that she has been treated. Why did the Labour leader say the investigation was ongoing but clearly it wasn’t?

“Do we know that she is going to be the only sitting MP that will be targeted?” they said. “There is a weight of anxiety among candidates.”

Labour MP Mick Whitley added: “The party’s treatment of her is an insult to a political pioneer, the first black woman MP and a loyal servant of both the Labour Party and the people of Hackney.”

A spokesperson for left-wing campaign group Momentum said: “We are sickened and disgusted by this information – the way in which Keir Starmer has handled Britain’s first Black lady MP is appalling, vindictive and merciless.”

Six unions – Aslef, the TSSA, Unite, the NUM, the Communication Workers Union and the Fire Brigades Union – have also called for Ms Abbott to be confirmed as the Labour candidate for Hackney North and Stoke Newington.

Sir Keir told reporters in Worcester “it isn’t true” that Ms Abbott had been barred.

“No resolution has been taken to bar Diane Abbott. The course of that we have been going by ended with the restoration of the whip the opposite day, so she’s a member of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) and no resolution has been taken barring her.”

The decision on whether she can stand will ultimately be taken by Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC).

Crossbench peer Lord Woolley of Woodford told BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme: “This is a really large second, I’d argue, for the Labour Party, and Diane, and Britain’s black communities, and I feel they’ve about 48 hours to get this proper.”

He added: “I feel they’re in peril of not solely disrespecting one of the well-liked MPs in trendy instances but in addition in the event that they get this disrespectfully improper, it will even be a slap within the face for Britain’s African and Caribbean communities.”