Labour’s final election candidate list includes Diane Abbott

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Labour’s final election candidate list includes Diane Abbott

Veteran MP is confirmed as candidate for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, after a row sparked by claims she had been barred

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Diane Abbott. (Photo credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire)
Diane Abbott. (Photo credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire)

Labour’s ruling national executive committee has met to approve its final list of candidates going into the general election – which included Diane Abbott.

The veteran MP was confirmed as the party’s candidate for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, after a row sparked by claims she had been barred from standing.

The final list also included the names of Edmonton’s Kate Osamor, and Apsana Begum, despite the Poplar and Limehouse candidate being “triggered” for a reselection contest by her local party.

The inclusion of the three women, alongside established names such as John McDonnell, Richard Burgon, Ian Byrne and Tahir Ali, make a mockery of claims Keir Starmer had authorised a full-on purge of the left from his party.

This was partly due to the fact that the decision of Rishi Sunak to call a surprise election on July 4th, left little time for Labour to hold selection contests.

But as the NEC meeting took place, Fazia Shaheen, who was dropped as the candidate in Chingford and Woodford Green over a series of posts that downplayed antisemitism in the party, confirmed she had quit Labour.

Shaheen has been replaced by Sharma Tatler, who has been supportive of the community throughout her time on Brent Council.

Russell-Lloyd Moyle was also dropped as a candidate in Brighton Kemptown over a historic allegation, which he denies, came to light.

Those close to Starmer will point to the length list of new candidates supportive of his politics, that are also standing in countless seats at the election, as proof of the change he has made to the party.

Camden council leader Georgia Gould, also chair of London Councils, was picked to stand in Maida Vale, while barrister Sarah Sackman stands in Finchley and Golders Green.Josh Simons stands in Makerfield, while Luke Akehust, a staunch ally of the community, stands in North Durham.

In Hertsmere Josh Tapper represents the party, with up to 10 Jewish Labour candidates predicted to become MPs after the election.Starmer had repeatedly denied claims he had blocked Abbott from standing as a candidate, but Labour sources suggested that following her suspension from the party over antisemitism allegations, a lose deal was struck in which the 70 year-old would agree to stand down, with a possible peerage offered.

But Abbott was left fuming after a report she was to be blocked from standing was published by The Times.As the first ever female MP, Abbott is afforded considerable respect across all political parties.

Following an investigation into a letter she wrote for the Observer, in which she suggested Jews, Travellers and Irish people do not suffer the same day to day racism as Black people, Abbott underwent antisemitism training.

But some Labour insiders cite her social media comments, in which she has openly criticised Starmer and downplayed antisemitism as evidence that she should have still been banned from standing.

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