Diane Abbott has Labour whip restored after pressure on Keir Starmer intensified

Abbott
-Credit: (Image: PA Archive/PA Images)


Diane Abbott was given back the Labour whip earlier on Tuesday, the PA news agency understands.

It comes after pressure on Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer intensified after reports that an investigation into her racism comments was completed five months ago.

Labour withdrew the whip from the long-standing MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington in April 2023, after she suggested Jewish, Irish and Traveller people experienced prejudice, but not racism.

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BBC Newsnight reported that Labour's National Executive Committee (NEC) had written to Ms Abbott in December 2023 to say it had concluded an inquiry into her comments.

Sir Keir on Tuesday again refused to say whether Ms Abbott, Britain's first black woman MP, would be able to stand for the party in the General Election.

Asked about the investigation finishing in December, the Labour leader told broadcasters: "The process overall is obviously a little longer than the fact-finding exercise."

"But in the end, this is a matter that will have to be resolved by the National Executive Committee and they'll do that in due course."

He added that the NEC "will come to a decision in due course".

Sir Keir has previously said he could not get involved in the case, which would be resolved by June 4, when Labour's final list of candidates is decided.