Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

Labour investigation into Diane Abbott complete – BBC Newsnight

28 May 2024 3 minute read
Former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott Image by Dominc Lipinski/PA Images

A probe into comments which Diane Abbott made about racism affecting Jewish and Traveller communities was completed five months ago, according to BBC Newsnight.

Britain’s first black woman MP, who represents the Hackney North and Stoke Newington constituency in London, was suspended from the Labour Party in April 2023.

The programme found Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) had written to Ms Abbott in December 2023, to say it had concluded an inquiry into her comments

It issued her with a “formal warning” for “engaging in conduct that was, in the opinion of the NEC, prejudicial and grossly detrimental to the Labour Party”.

Ms Abbott was expected to take part in an online e-learning module, which she completed in February – something that Labour’s chief whip allegedly acknowledged by email.

Momentum

Campaign group Momentum has said the Labour whip “should already have been restored”.

Ms Abbott was an independent MP when Parliament was prorogued on Friday, May 24, ahead of the General Election on Thursday, July 4.

A Momentum spokesperson said: “This is outrageous news which confirms that the (Keir) Starmer leadership is trying to force Britain’s first black woman MP out of Parliament.

“For months, we have been told by Keir Starmer that the process is independent and it’s nothing to do with him.

“Today’s revelation confirms this is another brazen lie from Keir Starmer – the investigation was concluded months ago, Diane remains a Labour member and the whip should already have been restored as a result.

“Starmer’s conduct has already been insulting and demeaning to a woman he rightly called a ‘trailblazer’ – the first step to making amends is to restore the whip and let Diane run as the Labour candidate, as local members wish.”

Final decisions

Speaking last Friday, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told Sky News: “The final decisions on candidates is coming up in a few days’ time, I think June 4, it may be a little earlier, a little later, I can’t quite remember.

“But within a relatively short period of time, the final list of candidates will be decided, and that will be a matter for the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee.”

Ms Abbott, who has been an MP since 1987, responded in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that the process “has EVERYTHING to do with” Sir Keir.

The veteran MP was suspended after she responded to an Observer article headlined: “Racism in Britain is not a black and white issue. It’s far more complicated.”

She wrote in a letter to the title: “It is true that many types of white people with points of difference, such as redheads, can experience this prejudice. But they are not all their lives subject to racism. In pre-civil rights America, Irish people, Jewish people and Travellers were not required to sit at the back of the bus.”

Ms Abbott later said she wished to “wholly and unreservedly withdraw my remarks and disassociate myself from them”.

Labour has been approached for comment.


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
12 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Annibendod
Annibendod
16 days ago

IMHO she was treated more harshly on account of her being on the Left of the party. Not only that, when she was the victim of clear racism by the Tory donor, not one MP gave way to her, what was it – 40 odd times she stood up. A bunch of old white blokes for the most part, stood up and pontificated about racism whilst the actual victim was totally ignored. Disgusting! I think Starmer would love to have her kicked out but has had to weigh up the political cost. I think there’s very little in the way… Read more »

Evan Aled Bayton
Evan Aled Bayton
16 days ago

She has an unerring knack of putting her hoof in her mouth which is not to say that she should have been treated like this. Moving on, racism is a very personal experience like disability. I have intermittently been treated in a racist manner all my life for being Welsh and living in England. Most of it was ethnic stereotyping. Perhaps the oddest moment was at age 17 being asked in a Cambridge interview – “How come you say you’re a Welshman when you can’t sing, don’t play rugby and failed your religious education O level twice?”

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
16 days ago

Clearly Abbott is part of Starmer’s clear out of anyone who is not politically on the hard right, not a tory clone in other words. Abbott should tell him where to stick his LP and stand as an independent. She would win.

Gary H
Gary H
16 days ago

If the quote as given here was the total of her “inappropriate” comments, I can’t see what exactly was racist about it, even it is unpalatable, unless any complaint about racist behaviour (eg being called a sheepshagger time after time) has to be quantified by listing every group that has had it worse. But of course Diane Abbott also supports Palestine…

Shan Morgain
Shan Morgain
16 days ago

She’s black, she’s female, she’s socialist and now she’s old. Multiple target. One of the truly great people in politics up there with Nye.

Adrian
Adrian
16 days ago
Reply to  Shan Morgain

Just don’t ask her to divvy up the restaurant bill though.

Valerie Matthews
Valerie Matthews
16 days ago
Reply to  Adrian

I guess you are referring to a faux pas she made long ago? At the time she had not slept for 24 hours, had not eaten and is Diabetic! Many have said and done FAR worse, but this poor woman , valued by her Constituents has ALWAYS been a target for our Racist, Misogynistic Media and their ‘Target’ Readers who swallow every word!

SPB
SPB
14 days ago
Reply to  Shan Morgain

You must be joking!

Sian
Sian
16 days ago

To top it all right winger, anti migrants Natalie Elphicke has been welcomed to the Labour Party with open arms…..couldn’t make it up ….

John Ellis
John Ellis
16 days ago

Rumour – on tonight’s ‘Channel 4 News’ – is that she may have the Labour whip very briefly if pointlessly restored, but that she won’t be allowed to be Labour’s candidate at the forthcoming general election. No one in Labour seems to be saying.

Annibendod
Annibendod
16 days ago
Reply to  John Ellis

Apparently the investigation was done 5 months ago. Looks like they’ve strung this out as long as they could to get her out. She claims she’s being bullied. I agree with her. If anyone in Wales is under the illusion that Labour are a progressive party, they should think again.

Last edited 16 days ago by Annibendod
John Ellis
John Ellis
16 days ago
Reply to  Annibendod

I’m inclined to agree with you there, and it’s hardly a good look. Even so, as things stand I’ll still be casting my vote for Labour next month because I live in one of the rather few Welsh constituencies which has, for nearly twenty years now, consistently returned a Tory MP. And even with the new constituencies now in place, every opinion polling outfit whose prediction I’ve sought tells me that no party other than Labour has the remotest chance of defeating the Tory candidate here. So, since my absolute priority has to be to play my small part in… Read more »

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.