Diane Abbott looks set to regain the Labour whip – but others are out of luck

Disciplinary matters in Starmer’s Labour seem shrouded in mystery, says Sean O’Grady, but the racism episode could well extend Diane Abbott’s career

Thursday 14 March 2024 19:09 GMT
Diane Abbott had a simple message for Keir Starmer this week
Diane Abbott had a simple message for Keir Starmer this week (Parliament TV)

Hateful abuse from a major Tory donor, Frank Hester, directed at Diane Abbott has provided a timely reminder that she has been on the receiving end of racism and misogyny since she became Britain’s first female black MP, in 1987.

She is also now one of the longer-serving MPs of any party but, despite the recent wave of sympathy, her future parliamentary career remains in extreme jeopardy. She had the Labour whip removed last year after she wrote a letter to a newspaper that her party leadership considered carried antisemitic sentiments, was out under investigation, but there is no sign of a conclusion to that process or any indication if she will be allowed back into the parliamentary Labour party. Indeed, it seems that mystery often surrounds such disciplinary matters in the people’s party, despite it being led by a distinguished lawyer. Some interesting questions arise…

What does Diane Abbott want?

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