Diane Abbott free to stand as a Labour candidate

Diane Abbott “free” to stand as a Labour candidate

Diane Abbott is “free” to stand as a Labour candidate in the General Election, Sir Keir Starmer has said after growing tensions in the party over her political future.

The Labour leader on Friday told reporters: “The whip has obviously been restored to her now and she is free to go forward as a Labour candidate.”

He praised the Labour veteran as a “trailblazer”, saying: “Diane Abbott was elected in 1987, the first black woman MP.

“She has carved a path for other people to come into politics and public life.”

He had previously refused to say whether Ms Abbot would be defending her Hackney North and Stoke Newington seat on July 4, as he faced claims of a “purge” of left-wing candidates.

Ms Abbott was suspended from Labour last year after she suggested Jewish, Irish and Traveller people experience prejudice, but not racism, sparking a long-running process which saw her sit as an Independent MP.

She had the Labour whip restored this week, but it was briefed out that she might be “barred” from running for the party in the General Election.

Labour sources said Ms Abbott will be the Labour candidate in her long-held constituency and Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee is expected to support her candidacy.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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