Diane Abbott sparks online fury as she ‘finally’ accepts Labour’s catastrophic defeat

Diane Abbott confessed Labour Party members must “face the facts” and examine the causes of their general election defeat to Boris Johnson in December 2019. The Shadow Home Secretary noted the manifesto included too many policies that had been crammed together. The Hackney MP went on to defend outgoing leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions?, Ms Abbott said: “There was never a Momentum experiment as you describe it.

“There was a lot of people, we ended up with 500,000 members who joined the party to support Jeremy Corbyn.

“It wasn’t an experiment, it was an organic thing when people joined.

“But we have to face facts however you want to explain it, we went down to a catastrophic defeat in December and we have to examine what caused that, was it every single policy? Was it the fact there were too many policies crammed into the manifesto?”

She continued: “It’s a combination of things. I think that individual policies like free dental care were very popular but there were too many of them crammed together.

“We have to consider as a party why we lost so badly in December and how we save this country from a Tory Government.”

Social media users hit out at her response as one wrote: “Diane Abbott finally accepts Labour is s***”.

Another added: “Bare-faced lie from Diane Abbott. What else was Momentum if not a faction? It was Jeremy Corbyn who created it to consolidate the hard-Left.”

A third person said: “Abbott makes me want to scream.”

On the show, host Chris Mason asked: “Labour leadership candidate Lisa Nandy has told the BBC that Jeremy Corbyn’s team, and that may mean use as well, wanted to wage a factional war against their opponents in the Labour Party until the other side had been ‘crushed’. Is she right?”

Ms Abbott replied: “No. I was reasonably close to those events and Jeremy himself went out on a limb to bring people in and to be a sort of healer.

“To say that Jeremy was running some sort of factional thing, that’s really not right.”

Her comments come weeks after she announced she will stand down from frontline politics when Jeremy Corbyn steps down in April and a successor is named.


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Diane Abbott, who supports Rebecca Long-Bailey to be the next Labour leader, said she will be stepping down when a new leader is elected.

She said she will be returning to the backbenches as the next leader must “construct their own shadow cabinet”.

Ms Abbott was asked whether she would serve in the next leader’s Shadow Cabinet after outgoing leader Jeremy Corbyn said he would happily serve under Rebecca Long-Bailey.

Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sky News, Ms Abbott said: “I will be stepping down because I think that the new leader, they have to be able to construct their own shadow cabinet.”

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