Diane Abbott supporters rally outside Hackney Town Hall claiming Labour 'want her excluded'

Diane Abbott has attended a rally outside Hackney Town Hall after she claims Labour are trying to exclude her from Parliament
-Credit: (Image: Alishia Abodunde)

Hundreds of people have gathered in East London tonight (Wednesday, May 29) to support veteran Labour politician Diane Abbott.

Supporters say the party want to 'exclude her from Parliament'. Ms Abbott, who was suspended last year for saying Jewish, Irish and Traveller people do not face racism 'all their lives', has finally had her suspension lifted following an investigation.

But she has claimed Labour have banned her from running as an MP in the Hackney North and Stoke Newington constituency, where she has been the MP for many years.

Tonight, a rally in support of Ms Abbott is being held, with speeches made by several figures within the Hackney North Labour party and other groups.

According to The BBC, Ms Abbott has arrived at the rally and has told the crowd that yesterday, she was shocked to learn she was going to be barred from standing for Labour. She said she has been given no reason and thinks the party wants her excluded from Parliament.

READ MORE: Sadiq Khan says 'trailblazing' Diane Abbott could join House of Lords

Huge crowds have flocked to support the veteran Labour MP
Huge crowds have flocked to support the veteran Labour MP -Credit:Alishia Abodunde

"It is as if you are not allowed to be a Labour MP unless you’re prepared to repeat everything the leader says," she said. Ms Abbott also told the rally she will attempt to remain as the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington for as long as she can.

She said: “As long as it is possible, I will be your MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington... I will not let myself be intimidated."

Not far from Hackney, Jeremy Corbyn will be running as an independent candidate for Islington North, where he has been an MP since 1983.

Six unions affiliated with Labour – Aslef, TSSA, Unite, NUM, CWU and FBU – have called for Ms Abbott to be allowed to stand. Labour former frontbencher Jess Phillips also told Times Radio: “I think that Diane should be allowed to stand. And I think that the delay has been unedifying. The whole thing has been unedifying.”

Sir Keir Starmer has said no decision has yet been taken about whether Ms Abbott – who in 1987 became the first black woman elected to Parliament – would be allowed to defend her seat in East London. Sir Keir told reporters in Worcester “it’s not true” that Ms Abbott had been barred.

“No decision has been taken to bar Diane Abbott,” he said. “The process that we were going through ended with the restoration of the whip the other day, so she’s a member of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) and no decision has been taken barring her.”

The decision on whether she can stand will ultimately be taken by Labour’s ruling national executive committee (NEC).

Got a story for us? Email anna.willis@reachplc.com.

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