Diane Abbott could stand against Labour at next general election

Diane Abbott sorry after suggesting that Jews don’t face racism

Diane Abbott has indicated she could stand against Labour at the next general election.

The former shadow home secretary said she “definitely” plans to run again in her Hackney North and Stoke Newington seat.

The veteran MP, who has represented the north London constituency since 1987, lost the Labour whip last Sunday following a backlash over a letter about racism she sent to a newspaper which was slammed as antisemitic.

Asked if she plans to stand again even if Labour does not restore the whip, Ms Abbott told The Telegraph: “I have been re-selected as the candidate for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, and it is definitely my intention to run in the 2024 general election.”

The MP, who served in Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet, refused to be drawn further on if she would run as an independent.

In her letter to The Observer, which she has since apologised for and blamed on it being an “initial draft”, Ms Abbott claimed Jewish people were subject to prejudice, but not racism.

Ms Abbott was responding to a comment piece which suggested that Irish, Jewish and Traveller people all suffer from racism in the UK.

Ms Abbott, – who made history as the first black woman to become an MP – said: “Tomiwa Owolade claims that Irish, Jewish and Traveller people all suffer from ‘racism’.

“They undoubtedly experience prejudice. This is similar to racism and the two words are often used as if they are interchangeable.

“It is true that many types of white people with points of difference, such as redheads, can experience this prejudice. But they are not all their lives subject to racism.

“In pre-civil rights America, Irish people, Jewish people and Travellers were not required to sit at the back of the bus. In apartheid South Africa, these groups were allowed to vote.

“And at the height of slavery, there were no white-seeming people manacled on the slave ships.”

Ms Abbott apologised and withdrew her remarks following widespread condemnation.

She said: “I am writing regarding my letter that was recently published in the Observer. I wish to wholly and unreservedly withdraw my written remarks and disassociate myself from them.

“The errors arose in an initial draft being sent. But there is no excuse and I wish to apologise for any anguish caused.

“Racism takes many forms and it is completely undeniable that Jewish people have suffered its monstrous effects, as have Irish people, travellers and many others.

“Once again, I would like to apologise publicly for the remarks and any distress caused as a result of them.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer earlier this week refused to say if Ms Abbott should be barred from standing for Labour again.

He said on Monday: “There’s an investigation in place, I’ve got to let that investigation be completed.”

It comes as there are also questions over whether her close ally Mr Corbyn will run as an independent candidate in his Islington North seat after Sir Keir blocked him from stnading for Labour following an antisemitism row.

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