Labour replace Diane Abbott as shadow home secretary

The party says the Hackney MP is facing a 'period of ill health'

Jon Stone
Political Correspondent
Wednesday 07 June 2017 09:59
Diane Abbott struggles with questions on recent London terror report in another awkward interview

Diane Abbott is being replaced as Labour's shadow home secretary during a "period of her ill health", the party has confirmed.

Ms Abbott has suffered from a series of gaffes and difficult interviews in recent weeks, with the Conservatives increasingly focusing their political fire on her performance.

She will be replaced by Lyn Brown, who currently serves as the party's shadow policing minister.

On Wednesday Jeremy Corbyn refused to say whether Ms Abbott would be given the job of Home Secretary if Labour won on Thursday. He said only that she had done "a good job" but was "not well today".

Speaking to reporters on the Labour battle bus on Tuesday he noted that she had faced "an awful lot of very unfair criticism and abuse in the past".

On Monday Ms Abbott struggled to recall the contents of a report on counter-terror policing during an appearance on Sky News.

Earlier in the campaign she had failed to recall the cost of Labour's policy to hire more police officers during an awkward interview with LBC radio.

Since then Ms Abbott has pulled out of an interview on the BBC's Woman's Hour programme and a London hustings debate hosted by the Evening Standard newspaper.

It is understood that there has been tension within Labour's top team about whether Ms Abbott has become a liability or not.

A statement issued by the party said: "Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, has asked Lyn Brown to stand in for Diane Abbott as Shadow Home Secretary for the period of her ill health."

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