Diane Abbott

  1. Diane Abbott criticises Patel for Colston statue comments

    There has been some criticism of Home Secretary Priti Patel's reaction to the toppling of the Colston statue.

    Yesterday the Home Secretary called the tearing down of the statue "utterly disgraceful", adding that "it speaks to the acts of public disorder that have become a distraction from the cause people are protesting about".

    Here's what Hackney Labour MP Diane Abbott had to say:

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    Video caption: Diane Abbott says Priti Patel should step down during inquiry

    Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott says Priti Patel should step down during an inquiry into bullying allegations.

  3. Video content

    Video caption: Abbott: Language plan is dog-whistle politics

    Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott says offering points for English skills is "dog-whistle politics".

  4. MP criticised over claim former soldier 'unlikely to be bullied'

    Diane Abbott

    Hackney MP Diane Abbott has been criticised for "ridiculous" comments suggesting it was unlikely a former general could have been bullied by John Bercow.

    The shadow home secretary came to the defence of the former speaker, who has been involved in a public row with Lieutenant General David Leakey, who held the post of black rod in Parliament.

    In a tweet, that has since been deleted, Ms Abbott claimed Lt Gen Leakey's extensive military service meant it was unlikely he could have been bullied by Mr Bercow.

    "He had been a Lieutenant General who served in Germany, Northern Ireland and Bosnia," she said. "But claims he was bullied (i.e. intimidated and coerced) by John Bercow. Unlikely."

    But Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA union which represents senior civil servants, said Ms Abbott had a "complete failure to understand" the abuse of power in the workplace.

    "What a ridiculous comment from an experienced MP, demonstrating blind political partisanship and a complete failure to understand how power is abused in the workplace."

    Lt Gen Leakey, who served as black rod until 2018, stood by his claims that Mr Bercow "brutalised" staff after the former speaker dismissed them as "total and utter rubbish".

    David Leakey and John Bercow
  5. Diane Abbott: Victims 'preyed on by the greedy'

    Diane Abbott in Parliament

    Diane Abbott continued: "It's important to remember that these 39 poor, unfortunate people are the victims in this.

    "They are preyed on by the greedy, unscrupulous and people who simply have a willful disregard for the lives of others."

    She also said there was an "obligation" where people are "moving legally" to provide "safe and legal routes".

  6. Diane Abbott: 'Each will have partners, family or friends'

    Diane Abbott

    Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said: "Any death under these circumstances is truly appalling. Each of the 39 will have partners, family or friends who perhaps even now don't know how their loved one died and the horrible circumstances.

    "I would like to commend the emergency services for their work and share with the member for Thurrock [the constituency the lorry was found] the horror that these emergency workers will have seen sights that will live with them forever."

  7. Video content

    Video caption: Diane Abbott becomes first black MP at PMQs despatch box

    Diane Abbott replaced Jeremy Corbyn to face fellow deputy Dominic Raab during Prime Minister’s Questions.

  8. Diane Abbott becomes first black MP to represent party at PMQs

    Diane Abbott

    Diane Abbott has become the first black MP to represent a party at Prime Minister's Questions.

    The Hackney MP and shadow home secretary stood in for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who was absent from the weekly clash during party conferences.

    She faced Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who stood in for Boris Johnson as he delivered his keynote address to the Conservative conference in Manchester.

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    The Commons is normally in recess during the party conferences but MPs voted to keep sitting amid controversy over Mr Johnson's unlawful prorogation of Parliament.

    Traditionally, the Leader of the Opposition can ask six questions, however if the prime minister is unable to attend, both they and their counterpart are replaced by a senior frontbencher.