Infighting continues in Labourland, as Diane Abbott wrote a scathing letter last night to her own party, claiming that she “will not get a fair hearing” in the racism investigation into her because… of racism. The Labour MP had the whip withdrawn over her notorious comments about Jewish people to the Observer. Rebuking the party’s investigation, she wrote:
“The internal Labour Party disciplinary against me is fraudulent…As a Black woman, and someone on the left of the Labour Party, I have unfortunately been forced to reach the conclusion that I will not get a fair hearing from this Labour leadership.”
Her close friend Jeremy Corbyn was quick to her defence, claiming that the “the latest stitch up” against Abbott a “disgrace“. Fellow Labour lefty MP Beth Winter joined in, calling the party’s candidate selection process “undemocratic and discriminatory” after she lost out to a front bench colleague. Government in waiting…
On Sunday morning, Diane Abbott was quick to get out in front of voices criticising her “antisemitic” Observer letter. She swiftly apologised, blaming “the errors” on “an initial draft being sent”. True to form, Diane’s defence doesn’t add up.
The Jewish Chronicle today reports that Diane submitted two letters to the Observer, each hours apart. After the first attempt, she was prompted to resubmit the letter including an address and after a few hours – with plenty of time to make adjustments -Diane sent the letter again. Both submissions were identical.
To make matters worse, the email came from Diane’s personal email address and a whole week elapsed – without any attempts at correction – between the letter’s submission and publication. To be fair to Diane, she hasn’t always advanced the view she held out on the Observer’s letter page. It also baffles Guido that the Observer missed the story entirely.
It is all the more bizarre that she downgraded antisemitism to prejudice when during a debate on antisemitism in April 2018, she came out strongly and clearly against that very position, arguing passionately:
“I came into politics to fight racism and I have never resiled from that position. For me, it has always been the case that racism includes antisemitism. Jew hatred is race hatred, and one antisemite in the Labour party is one too many.”
It might surprise some to read that Guido is leaning towards thinking that the increasingly befuddled Diane should be an object of our sympathy rather than condemnation…
After three attempts from GB News‘ Darren McCaffrey, Keir Starmer has finally called Diane Abbott’s comments yesterday antisemitic, adding he “utterly condemns” the former Shadow Home Secretary’s letter and took “swift” action to suspend her:
“In my view, what she said was to be condemned. It was antisemitic. It’s absolutely right that we acted as swiftly… that’s the change that you see in the Labour Party.”
Asked whether Abbott will stand as a Labour Party candidate at the next election, however, Sir Keir demurred and insisted it was “right” that Labour’s supposed investigation took place. He’s already called her antisemitic without the need for yet another endless probe, so it’s not entirely clear why that’s necessary…
Diane Abbott has had the Labour whip withdrawn for comments she made in a letter to the Observer. The former Shadow Home Secretary had since apologised for the letter, in which she implied Jewish people couldn’t experience racism.
A Labour spokesman said:
“The Labour party completely condemns these comments which are deeply offensive and wrong. The chief whip has suspended the Labour whip from Diane Abbott pending an investigation.”
There was a time Labour wanted her to be the Home Secretary…
Speaking on GMB this morning, Diane Abbott took a principled stance against Keir Starmer’s chicanery. The former Shadow Home Secretary questioned Starmer’s decision to block Jeremy Corbyn from standing at the next election:
“Keir Starmer put a motion in front of the NEC to bar Jeremy as a candidate, but that motion said nothing about antisemitism. It said that because Jeremy had lost the 2019 election he couldn’t run. Well, really, if you stop people being MPs because they lose elections, why is Ed Miliband still an MP?”
She also claimed that if Corbyn decides to stand as an independent in Islington “he will win”.
Diane’s comments on Ed Miliband come in the context of Labour’s legalistic justification for blocking Corbyn put forward at the NEC – based on his electoral performance and not antisemitism. Starmer’s motion states that the party’s “standing with the electorate in the country, and its electoral prospects in seats it is required to win in order to secure a parliamentary majority and/or win the next general election, are both significantly diminished should Mr Corbyn be endorsed”.
As Ann Black points out for Labour List, “the motion was fundamentally dishonest, because the reasons given for blocking Corbyn’s candidacy were not the real reasons”. It’s one rule for Comrade Corbyn and another for Red Ed…