“A Slap in the Face” – Diane Abbott BAME Supporters Stand By Her as Starmer Purges the Left

Diane Abbott’s fight to stay an MP amid Labour’s allegations of a leftwing purge taking place within the party has highlighted internal party conflicts ahead of the election. Here’s the full story.

First Bumps in the Road

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Following Rishi Sunak’s bungled start to the general election campaign, Keir Starmer’s Labour Party may have hit its first significant bumps on the road to 10 Downing Street. 

Badly Mismanaged

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Keir Starmer now finds himself mired in controversy amid accusations of a left-wing cull taking place within Labour following the badly mismanaged treatment of the UK’s first female black MP, Dianne Abbott. 

Not “Subject to Racism”

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Abbot, who has represented Hackney North and Stoke Newington since her election in 1987, faced suspension from the Labour Party following a controversial letter to the Observer in April 2023, in which she claimed that Jewish, Irish and Traveller people undoubtedly experienced prejudice but stated that “they are not, all their lives, subject to racism.”

Immediate Apology

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The remarks, for which Abbott immediately apologised after claiming the letter was an early draft sent in error, sparked an immediate backlash and led to an investigation by Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC). 

Political Limbo

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A BBC Newsnight investigation found that the investigation into Abbott had reached its conclusions in December of 2023. However, this information was not made public, leaving Diane Abbott’s political career trapped in a bureaucratic limbo. 

Popular Support

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Following the news that Abbott had completed a training course on antisemitism, many on the left of the Labour Party were excited to have the veteran politician and campaigner, who enjoys enormous popular support in her constituency, back on the Labour benches. 

“I Will Be Campaigning for a Labour Victory”

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When Abbott wrote on X, formerly Twitter, “Naturally I am delighted to have the Labour whip restored and to be a member of the PLP [parliamentary Labour party]. Thank you to all those who supported me along the way. I will be campaigning for a Labour victory.”

Thrown Into Disarray

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However, this was all thrown into disarray after an unnamed Labour source briefed that Abbott was to be barred from standing for Labour in her constituency. 


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This led to a massive outcry from the left of the party and many others within Labour, who described Abbott’s treatment as “abhorrent.”

“One of the Most Popular MPs in Modern Times”

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Co-founder of Operation Black Vote, Simon Woolley, told the BBC that Labour was “in danger of… disrespecting one of the most popular MPs in modern times.”

“Slap in the Face”

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He added, “If they get this disrespectfully wrong, it’ll also be a slap in the face for Britain’s African and Caribbean communities.”

“Not True”

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Starmer was forced to deny the reports that Abbott had been barred from standing. When asked by journalists, he replied, “No, that’s not true. No decision has been taken to bar Diane Abbott.”

Suspended From Labour

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However, Starmer’s troubles were only beginning. News then emerged that Lloyd Russell-Moyle, the MP for Brighton Kemptown, had been suspended from the party. Due to the time it would take to investigate his suspension, he would be unable to stand in the upcoming general election. 

Deselected MP

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Shortly after Russell-Moyle’s suspension, Faiza Shaheen, Labour’s candidate in Chingford and Woodford Green, told the BBC she had been deselected in the hours following the Starmer’s denial. 

Labour Left

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Both MPs are on the left of the party, which has led to accusations of factional infighting within the Labour Party as Starmer, who is firmly on the more Blairite, centre-right of the party, was accused of attempting to undermine the party’s left wing.

“A Cull of Left Wingers”

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Replying to Shaheen’s post on X, Abbott wrote, “Appalling. Whose clever idea has it been to have a cull of left wingers?”

Poorly Executed Coup

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The response to what many saw as a poorly executed coup was immediate, with many from both inside and outside the Labour Party decrying the treatment of Abbott, Shaheen, and Russel-Moyle. 

Six Unions

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Six Labour-supporting unions—Aslef, the TSSA, Unite, the NUM, the Communication Workers Union, and the Fire Brigades Union—wrote an angry letter to Starmer demanding that Abbott be allowed to stand again. 

Corbyn Kicked Out

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Jeremy Corbyn, a longtime ally of Abbott and former Labour leader, whose influence Starmer has tried to excise from the party since he became leader, spoke in Abbott’s defence at a rally announcing his candidacy as an Independent MP, having been unceremoniously kicked out of the Labour Party. 

“People Don’t Like It”

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Corbyn stated, “Islington North Labour members were denied any vote to decide who their MP is or who their candidate is. If you shut down the voice of people, that democratic voice, then you’ve got problems. The problems are people don’t like it.”

“It Looks Like It”

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Corbyn was then asked if he thought Starmer was attempting to remove all influence of the Labour left, to which Corbyn replied simply: “It looks like it.”

“Concluded Months Ago”

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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak took great joy in Labour’s misfortune, stating, “The Labour Party has been telling everybody this investigation into Diane Abbott is ongoing, it now appears it concluded months ago.”

“Clear Up”

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He added the Labour Party needed to “clear up” Abbott’s position within the Labour Party. 

Coups, Purges and Betrayal

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The unfolding drama surrounding Diane Abbott’s candidacy has turned into a political melodrama, with accusations of coups, purges, and betrayal coming thick and fast. 

Factional Infighting

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It remains to be seen whether the highly unsightly factional infighting that is close to tearing Labour apart will convince voters that the party is not worth their vote. 

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The post “A Slap in the Face” – Diane Abbott Supporters Stand By Her as Starmer Purges the Left first appeared on Edge Media.

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Grant Gallacher is a seasoned writer with expertise in politics and impactful daily news. His work, deeply rooted in addressing issues that resonate with a wide audience, showcases an unwavering commitment to bringing forth the stories that matter. He is also known for satirical writing and stand up comedy.

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