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US News Diane Abbott to step down from shadow cabinet

21:00  23 february  2020
21:00  23 february  2020 Source:   news.sky.com

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Diane Abbott has confirmed she will not remain in the shadow cabinet when the next Labour leader is elected. The shadow home secretary said that regardless of "No," she confirmed. "I will be stepping down because I think the new leader, whether it's Becky, whether it's Lisa [Nandy], whether it's Keir

Sunday, 23 February 2020 Diane Abbott to step down from shadow cabinet | Sky U.K Diane Abbott has confirmed she will not remain in the shadow cabinet when

Diane Abbott sitting on a table: Diane Abbott says she will return to being a backbencher © Sky News Screen Grab Diane Abbott says she will return to being a backbencher

Diane Abbott has confirmed she will not remain in the shadow cabinet when the next Labour leader is elected.

The shadow home secretary said that regardless of who wins she will return to life on the backbenches and work on ensuring the party doesn't take a "swerve to the right on migration policy".

Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy, Keir Starmer posing for the camera: Ms Abbott is backing Rebecca Long-Bailey (left) in the leadership race © Imagebridge Ms Abbott is backing Rebecca Long-Bailey (left) in the leadership race

She also declared support for Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary who critics dub the "continuity Corbyn" candidate.

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Diane Abbott announced her intention to resign as Shadow Home Secretary not long after the 2019 election and Jeremy Corbyn’s announcement that he would step down as Party She said she was going after the election, confirmed in February. Diane Abbott to stand down from shadow cabinet .

Diane Abbott has confirmed she will be stepping down as shadow home secretary when the next Labour leader is elected. Mrs Abbott said that she would return to the backbenches irrespective of which candidate wins the race and was committed to stopping a post-Corbyn 'swerve to the right.'

Speaking to Sky News' Sophy Ridge On Sunday, Ms Abbott was asked if she wanted to keep a senior position in the new leader's shadow cabinet.

"No," she confirmed. "I will be stepping down because I think the new leader, whether it's Becky, whether it's Lisa [Nandy], whether it's Keir [Starmer], they'll have to be able to choose their own shadow cabinet.

"I was a backbencher for a few years and there is an awful lot to do on the backbenches.

"One of the things that I'd want to do is make sure that we don't make a swerve to the right on migration policy - I think that's a dead end for the Labour Party.

"We have to stand by our principles and stand by our values and make sure we have an immigration policy which is fair and which is workable."

David Leakey wearing a suit and tie: Lieutenant General David Leakey filed a formal complaint © PA Lieutenant General David Leakey filed a formal complaint

Ms Abbott, who was a backbencher for 23 years before being promoted to shadow the health and home secretaries by leader Jeremy Corbyn, also said Labour is "long overdue a woman leader" and that it is "embarrassing" that the party has never had one.

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Diane Abbott (pictured) - who was promoted to the front bench in September - was handed £700 to join the panel on The BBC has been accused of breaking its own rules by paying Labour MP Diane Abbott to appear on a late-night political show even after she was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet .

Diane Abbott will not be in the next shadow cabinet (Picture: sky). The Shadow Home Secretary said today she will be stepping down when a new Labour leader is elected in April. The final three candidates fighting for the leadership are Rebecca Long-Bailey, Sir Keir Starmer and Lisa Nandy.

And she doubled down on her claim it was "unlikely" a former senior parliamentary official was intimidated by ex-Speaker John Bercow.

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Lieutenant General David Leakey, who kept order in the House of Lords from 2011-17, filed a formal complaint "detailing allegations of bullying, intimidation and unacceptable behaviour" by Mr Bercow, who stepped down from politics in November and denies the claims.

But Ms Abbott tweeted that he had "served in Germany, Northern Ireland and Bosnia" and that "claims he was bullied" were "unlikely".

It provoked a fierce backlash, with head of the civil servants' union Dave Penman telling Sky News: "To try and suggest somehow that David Leakey's background makes him immune from this I think is ludicrous. It lacks common sense. It's simply about trying to support Bercow."

Asked if she was denying Lt Gn Leakey was intimidated, Ms Abbott told Ridge On Sunday: "Anybody can be bullied. Anybody of any age or any profession can be bullied. I think intimidating Leakey is one thing, but of course anybody can be bullied."

John Bercow sitting in a chair: John Bercow denies any accusations of bullying © Reuters John Bercow denies any accusations of bullying

She insisted: "Anybody can be intimidated. But I think that given Leakey and the leadership roles that he played, as I said I think it's unlikely he was intimidated by John Bercow.

"Annoyed by John Bercow, insulted by John Bercow, but not intimidated."

Ms Abbott added she knew a lot about receiving abuse.

"Anybody can be abused - and I know more about this than some members of parliament because I remain the most abused online of any Labour MP," she said.

"But all I was saying was that given Leakey's history, it seems unlikely he'd actually be intimidated by John Bercow."

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The former Speaker faced a raft of bullying accusations in the run up to his resignation, but a new wave was launched when it was reported Labour was lining up to nominate him for a peerage.

Dawn Butler, an MP running to be the party's deputy leader, said Downing Street should follow tradition and elevate Mr Bercow to the House of Lords - "otherwise I think that is a form of bullying too".

Earlier this week he dismissed accusations that he frequently lost his temper.

"I make no apology for the fact that I fought my corner.

"But the idea I was some sort of raging bull... has no credibility at all," he said, according to The Guardian.

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