Diane Abbott has published an open letter, accusing Labour’s investigation into her of being a sham and “fraudulent”. Meanwhile, the former Shadow Home Secretary has essentially been blocked from standing again for the party in the next General Election.
Abbott was suspended by Labour pending an investigation in April of this year, after publishing a letter in the Guardian in which she appeared to suggest Jewish People and other minority groups are not “all their lives subject to racism”.
She added: ”In pre-civil rights America, Irish people, Jewish people and Travellers were not required to sit at the back of the bus”.
Energy Secretary Grant Shapps accused the letter of being “hateful antisemitism”.
Ms Abbott claimed the letter had been an “initial draft”, but Starmer’s Labour leapt on the opportunity to suspend a senior Corbyn loyalist.
This week, Abbott she said that the ongoing, four-month-long investigation into her “is fraudulent”.
She said she was told by the Labour Chief Whip to “actively engage” with the investigation, “but the Labour Whips are no long involved – it is now run entirely out of the Labour Party HQ, which reports to Keir Starmer”.
“There is no investigation”.
She continued: “others have committed far more grave offences, and belated or grudging apologies have been wrung from them. Yet they have been immediately excused as supporters of this leadership.”
“The Labour Party has not charged me with antisemitism because they know it is untrue”.
Making unsubstantiated insinuations that her treatment was partly down to ‘racism’, Abbott said that Labour HQ had “decapitated” the elected leadership of her Hackney constituency party in order to install Starmer allies.
All of this, she argues, is to “replace me as the candidate prior to the next election”.
To this end, it appears that Abbott is in fact telling the truth.
In an apparent power grab to prevent local branches electing candidates unfavoured by Labour HQ, the NEC, likely instructed by Starmer, have seized control of three branches over the past two weeks. These branches are Leicester East, Bolton North, and Abbott’s CLP, Hackney North.
Pro-Abbott officials were replaced last week.
The branch’s left-wing chair, treasurer and secretary are being replaced by interim “right-wing stooges,” they said.
Outgping chairwoman Sue Millman, who is being ousted alongside her Jeremy Corbyn-supporting secretary, told far-left newspaper Morning Star that the reasons given by the party were bogus.
“Under arrangements introduced by the [Labour Party] to manage constituency boundary changes, CLPs affected by greater than a 15 per cent change are to have temporary executive officers appointed by their regional office,” Millman said
“This is not the case in Hackney North and the replacement of our executive officers will come as a shock to the members who elected me and the other officers whatever their politics.
“It appears to be as a result of other issues arising from the recent Tom Dewey scandal and the suspension of the whip from Diane Abbott — our amazing local MP who is overwhelmingly supported by the majority of CLP members, due to her diligent engagement with the local party and community, and her excellent representation of the constituency.”
Tom Dewey, also a member of Abbott’s branch, was a Labour councillor convicted of downloading thousands of child abuse images. This week, Hackney mayor Philip Glanville officially resigned after it was revealed he had lied when claiming he had not continued his close friendship with Dewey after his arrest.
A Hackney Labour source said former spad Lenny Shallcross will be the CLP’s secretary, adding: “It’s a cover to impose right-wing stooges.
“They are hoping to just completely destroy the left in Hackney North and then parachute in a right-wing candidate.”
It seems that Abbott, who is highly unlikely to hold onto her seat at the next General Election if standing as an independent, is now resigned to her fate.
“Taken together, the procedural impropriety, Starmer’s pronouncement of my guilt, the four-month delay in the investigation, the repeated refusal to try to reach any accommodation, all point in the direction that the verdict has already been reached,” she said.