Calls to Restore Whip to Diane Abbott Grow


“It’s best for both the Party and Diane if this is resolved quickly and the whip is restored.”

Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP

By Matt Willgress

Following Diane Abbott’s statement on September 19th in which she said “the internal Labour Party disciplinary against me is fraudulent,” numerous voices have spoken out on how she has been treated, including a growing number of MPs and prominent figures in the Labour Party.

Summing up the view of many of these, Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP argued that “It’s best for both the Party and Diane if this is resolved quickly and the whip is restored.”

These thoughts were echoed by Zarah Sultana MP who said “Diane Abbott – the first black woman MP, a trailblazer who’s faced more racism than any other MP – deserves to be treated fairly,” and made the key point that “ When other Labour MPs have made mistakes and apologised, they’ve had the whip restored [and] the same should happen with Diane.”

In a touching post, Apsana Begum MP said “as the UK’s first hijab-wearing MP, it meant the world to have the support of the UK’s first Black woman MP, Diane Abbott MP… Diane stood up for me. I stand in solidarity with her against the attacks she faces, for standing up for democracy and her constituents.”

Labour’s former Leader and Shadow Chancellor also expressed their views, with Jeremy Corbyn saying that “the latest stitch-up represents yet another flagrant attack on local democracy,” and adding that as “a lifelong anti-racist campaigner, Diane deserves so much better. So do party members being treated with contempt.”

John McDonnell meanwhile argued that all that was needed was fairness for Diane, and then the whip would be restored.

Others MP commenting on the issue have included:

  • Clive Lewis MP
  • Nadia Whittome MP
  • Kim Johnson MP
  • Richard Burgon MP
  • Mick Whitley MP
  • Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP
  • And Beth Winter MP

On Instagram, Kate Osamor MP, Dawn Butler MP, Florence Eshalomi MP and Marsha de Cordova MP also expressed solidarity.

Outside of Westminster, Mercedes Villalba MSP noted that “Diane Abbott MP has always used her platform to challenge injustice,” and argued “that she not be given a fair hearing in the Party of equality is a damning indictment of the current state of Labour Party democracy.”

Labour NEC member Jess Barnard conveyed the thoughts of activists across the country when she pointed out that “Diane has dedicated her life to campaigning for equality, human rights and justice proudly under the banner of the Labour Party.”

Whilst fellow NEC member Mish Rahman hit the nail on the head with regards to a number of important points

  • You can read responses from different campaigners on this issue here.
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Featured image: Diane Abbott MP joins a rally for the NEU “Pay Up” Campaign on March 2nd, 2023. Photo credit: Diane Abbott/Twitter