‘I’ve handled that’: Keir Starmer dodges questions on Diane Abbott | EUROtoday

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Keir Starmer has dodged questions on Diane Abbott as he launched Labour’s election battle bus.

The occasion was the primary time Sir Keir had appeared in public together with his deputy Angela Rayner after Labour stated the social gathering veteran was free to contest her seat.

The dramatic U-turn got here after Ms Rayner stated the trailblazer, the UK’s first black MP, ought to be allowed to face – in a break together with her social gathering chief.

At the launch in west London, Sir Keir repeatedly claimed “I dealt with this yesterday” as he tried to brush off questions.

Asked what had modified when he stated on Friday that the veteran left-winger may stand as a Labour candidate, he stated: “I dealt with that issue yesterday.

“Today is about taking our argument to the nation and getting folks again to work.”

Asked about concerns among black voters, Sir Keir said: “Let me give my message to voters, as a result of I feel that is very, crucial, which is if you need change, the ability’s with you… it’s important to vote for change.”

Earlier certainly one of his allies denied he had been bounced into a call.

Liz Kendall, the shadow work and pensions secretary, denied he was pressured into an about flip by Ms Rayner.

Asked whether or not he had been “bounced into a decision” by Ms Rayner, Ms Kendall informed BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I completely reject that”.

“It’s really important that the Labour party sets the highest possible standards for every single candidate,” she stated. “There’s been a process, we’ve gone through that. She’s free to stand.”

The announcement adopted days of stress from inside his social gathering about whether or not or not Ms Abbott could be blocked from standing.

Ms Abbott was suspended from Labour final yr after she advised Jewish, Irish and Traveller folks expertise prejudice, however not racism, sparking a long-running course of which noticed her sit as an unbiased MP.

She had the Labour whip restored eariler this week, however it was briefed out that she is likely to be “barred” from working for the social gathering within the General Election.

On Thursday Ms Rayner stated there was “no reason” to stop the previous shadow residence secretary standing.

But Rishi Sunak stated it was “clear” she was in cost. The prime minister claimed the row “confirms what we know” in regards to the Labour chief. “It’s that he doesn’t stick by anything he says. Just constantly changes his mind. And it’s clear that Angela Rayner is in charge of the Labour party, and not him at the end of the day.”