Home Entertainment Is Keir about to bow to Labour mutiny on Diane Abbott? Starmer...

Is Keir about to bow to Labour mutiny on Diane Abbott? Starmer heaps praise on ‘trailblazer’ veteran left-winger after Angela Rayner said there is ‘no reason’ she can’t stand at election – amid backlash at his ‘Corbynite purge’

21
0


Keir Starmer heaped praise on ‘trailblazer’ Diane Abbott today as he faces a revolt on claims the veteran left-winger is being blocked from standing at the election.

The Labour leader is desperate to move on from the row after factional divisions dramatically reignited within the party.

Amid rising fears that the row could dent his election hopes, Sir Keir was again challenged on the issue this morning as he touted energy policies on a visit to Scotland.   

He again stressed that no decision had been taken on Ms Abbott’s fate, with the ruling NEC due to confirm decisions on candidates by early next week.

However, pressure on Sir Keir to resolve the situation dramatically escalated yesterday as his deputy Angela Rayner intervened to say she thought Ms Abbott – Britain’s first black female MP – should be allowed to run.

Labour’s leader in Scotland, Anas Sarwar, told Sky News this morning that he ‘agrees with Angela’. He described Ms Abbott as an ‘historic figure in the Labour Party’, while stressing that it was ‘ultimately a decision for the NEC’.

‘I think the NEC should make a decision quickly,’ he added. 

Shadow cabinet minister Peter Kyle risked inflaming tensions, saying Labour is ‘responding to a situation that Diane herself got herself in to’. 

Keir Starmer heaped praise on 'trailblazer' Diane Abbott (pictured) today as he faces a revolt on claims the veteran left-winger is being blocked from standing at the election

Keir Starmer heaped praise on ‘trailblazer’ Diane Abbott (pictured) today as he faces a revolt on claims the veteran left-winger is being blocked from standing at the election

Sir Keir is desperate to move on from the row after factional divisions dramatically reignited within the party

Sir Keir is desperate to move on from the row after factional divisions dramatically reignited within the party

Close allies Diane Abbott and Jeremy Corbyn have accused Sir Keir of trying to purge the Left of the party

Close allies Diane Abbott and Jeremy Corbyn have accused Sir Keir of trying to purge the Left of the party

Pouring petrol on the dispute yesterday, Ms Rayner told Sky: ‘I don’t think there’s any reason why Diane Abbott shouldn’t stand as an MP.

‘She’s been an inspiration to many people who see that actually she has been a trailblazer.

‘Now people from her background and people who look like her have a place in our politics. And she’s been able to demonstrate that. You can see the difference on our benches.’

Ms Rayner also said it was ‘not a great look’ to see Ms Abbott being ‘briefed against’.

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride twisted the knife today, repeating the Tories’ attack line that ‘if Keir Starmer can’t deal with Diane Abbott, how on earth is he going to deal with Vladimir Putin?’

The Labour Left has vented fury at an apparent bid by the leadership to purge Corbynites and parachute some of Sir Keir’s most loyal allies into plum seats. 

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland today, Sir Keir said: ‘Diane Abbott has had the whip returned to her, no decision has been taken to bar her from standing and the NEC will come to a decision in due course.’

Asked if he would like her to be a candidate, Sir Keir added: ‘Ultimately, that will be a matter for the NEC but no decision has been taken.’

He also praised the MP as a ‘trailblazer’. ‘She, of course, was a trailblazer for years, she faced many challenges which she overcame in her political career,’ he said.

A clamour is growing for Sir Keir to neutralise the bitter spat over Ms Abbott, who has represented Hackney North and Stoke Newington for nearly four decades.

Ms Abbott, who was elected to Parliament in 1987, has said she wants to fight to retain her seat ‘as long as it is possible’.

She was suspended by the party last year for suggesting Jewish, Irish and traveller people experienced prejudice but not racism.

After apologising and undergoing training on anti-Semitism, she had the party whip restored this week, meaning she could stand as a Labour candidate. But reports suggested that she would be barred from standing again for her seat.

Ms Abbott – a close ally of Jeremy Corbyn – said there was an ‘appalling cull’ of the Left of the party. Former leader Mr Corbyn lost the Labour whip after he said a highly critical report on the scale of anti- Semitism within the party had been ‘dramatically overstated’.

He launched his campaign to stand as an independent in his Islington North seat on Wednesday. 

Ms Abbott also risked falling foul of Labour rules against supporting rival candidates by retweeting a message hailing Mr Corbyn’s decision to run. 

Meanwhile, his supporter Lloyd Russell-Moyle was suspended by Labour and told he could not stand again in his former seat of Brighton Kemptown. The former MP blamed a ‘vexatious and politically motivated complaint’ against him.

Faiza Shaheen was not endorsed as the Labour candidate for Sir Iain Duncan Smith’s marginal seat of Chingford and Woodford Green. She was blocked after liking a series of social media posts that allegedly downplayed anti-

MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle said he has been suspended by the party over what he called a 'vexatious and politically motivated complaint'

MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle said he has been suspended by the party over what he called a ‘vexatious and politically motivated complaint’

Faiza Shaheen, Labour's candidate for Chingford & Woodford Green in northeast London, told Newsnight that the party was pulling her candidacy for allegedly liking a series of Tweets that downplayed antisemitism accusations

Faiza Shaheen, Labour’s candidate for Chingford & Woodford Green in northeast London, told Newsnight that the party was pulling her candidacy for allegedly liking a series of Tweets that downplayed antisemitism accusations

Semitism accusations and may run as an independent. She is consulting lawyers.

The Momentum campaign group, which was set up to support

Mr Corbyn’s Labour leadership, criticised Sir Keir’s comments about candidate selection.

‘This is a laughable defence and no one’s buying it,’ a spokesman said. ‘Plain as day, Keir Starmer is purging Left-wingers. He is pushing out independent-minded women of colour.’

It came as several Sir Keir allies were parachuted into key seats.

Josh Simons, director of the Labour Together group, was selected in Makerfield. Luke Akehurst, the secretary of Labour First, was selected in North Durham.



Source link

Previous articleSpanish waiters injured in beach brawl with ‘stag do’ Brits in Majorca reveal how chaos erupted after they asked the topless tourists to put their t-shirts on in a high-end restaurant where they racked up a €1,500 bill
Next articleAnthony Albanese says Donald Trump’s conviction won’t affect Australia’s relationship with the US if he is re-elected as president

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here