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Diane Abbott Says She’s Banned from Labour Candidacy as UK’s First Black Female MP

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Diane Abbott Says She's Banned from Labour Candidacy as UK's First Black Female MP

Diane Abbott, Britain’s first black female Member of Parliament (MP) and the country’s longest-serving black MP, has been barred from running as a Labour candidate in the upcoming general election despite having her party membership reinstated.

Abbott, who has represented the Hackney North and Stoke Newington constituency since 1987, revealed this development in an interview with the BBC on Wednesday.

The Labour Party had previously suspended Abbott over a year ago following her remarks about the experiences of Jewish, Irish, and Traveller communities with prejudice, which she differentiated from racism.

This suspension was lifted on Tuesday, but the Labour National Executive Committee (NEC) had already concluded an investigation into her comments in December 2023, signalling complex ongoing internal processes.

Labour leader Keir Starmer, when questioned about the conclusion of the investigation, remarked on Tuesday that the matter is now in the hands of the NEC, which will resolve it “in due course.” Starmer has previously stated his inability to intervene directly in the case.

The decision to prevent Abbott from standing in the election has drawn criticism, especially from the campaign group Momentum, which has lambasted the move as “outrageous” and “a slap in the face to Diane, her constituents, and the millions inspired by her example.”

The group emphasized that Abbott had been re-elected unanimously by her local party after her suspension was lifted, arguing that this should have settled the matter.

BBC noted that lifting Abbott’s suspension allows her the dignity of potentially concluding her political career on her own terms, though the decision to block her candidacy remains contentious among her supporters and advocates for broader representation in British politics.

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