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General election live: Starmer says 'not true' that Abbott barred from standing for Labour - BBC News General election live: Starmer says 'not true' that Abbott barred from standing for Labour - BBC News
(32 minutes later)
The former shadow home secretary was suspended in April 2023 after saying Jewish, Irish and Traveller people do not face racism "all their lives". Henry Zeffman
After apologising and withdrawing her remarks, Labour launched an investigation. Chief political correspondent
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer had said the investigation into her comments was not "resolved" - but BBC Newsnight reported yesterday that it was completed in December 2023. After more than a year in which, to her frustration, there
Hours later, it was revealed that Abbott's suspension had been lifted. was no news about Diane Abbott’s status in the Labour Party, things are now
She subsequently texted a BBC reporter, saying Labour had barred her from standing for the party at the general election. moving very quickly. And chaotically.
Asked if the news was true, Starmer said "no decision had been taken to bar Diane Abbott". So what to make of Sir Keir
We're still trying to contact the Labour Party to find out what's going on. Starmer’s intervention (which you can watch in the previous post)?
It’s genuinely hard to say.
Most people
are assuming that Starmer’s comments were a statement of technical fact.
After
all, no formal decision about Abbott’s candidacy can be made until Labour’s
national executive meets next week.
Starmer forcefully dismissing claims that
Abbott has been barred from standing might give Abbott space to announce her
retirement – should she wish to do so, which she may not – in a more dignified
manner than seemed likely this morning.
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