Diane Abbott to stand down from shadow cabinet when new Labour leader is elected

Tim Baker
Sky News

Diane Abbott has announced she will be stepping down from the shadow cabinet after the new Labour leader is elected.

Rebecca Long-Bailey, Sir Keir Starmer and Lisa Nandy are all vying to take over the reins of the opposition as Ms Abbott’s long-time ally Jeremy Corbyn steps down.

It comes after Labour's crushing defeat in the 2019 general election, after which Mr Corbyn announced he would be stepping down as leader.

Speaking to Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday, the Shadow Home Secretary announced that she would be returning to the back benches.

As Shadow Home Secretary, Ms Abbott has challenged the Government on many issues including the Windrush scandal (PA)

She said: “I will be stepping down because I think that the new leader, whether it’s Becky, whether it’s Lisa, whether it’s Keir, they have to be able to construct their own Shadow Cabinet.

“I was a back bencher for a few years and there’s an awful lot to do on the back benches.

“One of the things that I will want to do is make sure we do not make a swerve to the right on migration policy.”

Ms Abbott added that it would be a “dead end” for Labour to go down that route.

The MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington was the first black woman to be elected to Parliament when she won her seat in 1987.

She spent more than 20 years on the back benches before serving as a shadow minister for Ed Miliband and being appointed into the Shadow Cabinet under Mr Corbyn.

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