Diane Abbott says she has been banned from running for the Labor Party

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Veteran MP Diane Abbott said on Wednesday she had been banned from standing for the Labor Party at the general election after being suspended for comments about Jews.

Abbott, the left-wing MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, said in a statement that the party had reinstated the whip but would not allow her to stand for election on July 4. Labor has been contacted for comment.

The move to prevent Abbott, Britain’s first black female MP, from representing the Labor Party will add to unease on the left of the main opposition party about leader Sir Keir’s “ruthless” style Starmer.

He sought to pull the Labor Party back to the center of UK politics after his hard-left predecessor Jeremy Corbyn lost the 2019 election.

But some MPs have accused Starmer of sidelining his internal enemies, and this month expressed concern about the decision to admit the former Conservative MP. Natalie Elphickewho had previously been suspended from parliament.

Abbott was suspended by Labor last April after suggesting in a letter to the Observer that Jews, Irish and Travelers experienced only “prejudice” rather than racism.

Starmer pledged to root out anti-Semitism in the Labor Party after the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the equality watchdog, found in 2020 that during Corbyn’s time as leader, the party had failed to restrain anti-Semitic sentiment in some members.

She apologized and retracted her comments shortly after the Observer’s letter was published, but was still suspended by the Parliamentary Labor Party.

An investigation about Abbott was completed by the ruling Labor Party’s national executive committee in December, when she was asked to apologise, according to a Labor figure who declined to be named.

The Times first reported that Abbott would be forced to resign on Tuesday when Labor figures briefly announced that the party was considering who would replace her.

The Labor figure told the Financial Times on Tuesday that it was an “unsettled situation” regarding Abbott’s future, but that she had been given the opportunity to resign “with dignity” before the election .

Last week Starmer said Abbott’s case would be resolved by June 4, when the Labor Party finalizes its list of parliamentary candidates.

Abbott’s constituency is a safe Labor one – she has a majority of more than 33,000 people.

First elected to parliament in 1987, Abbott spent most of his career in the backbenches before being appointed by Corbyn as shadow home secretary. She returned to the backseat as Starmer took the wheel.

She was the subject of allegedly offensive comments — Frank Hester, a top Conservative Party donor, was recorded claiming in 2019 that Abbott made “you just want to hate all women.” Black female” and that she “needs[s] shot”.

West Yorkshire Police said they were investigating whether Hester’s comments amounted to a criminal offence.

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