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Home > General Election 2024: Starmer Can’t Stand Up To Abbott Let Alone Putin, Says Jeremy Hunt – Watch Labour Leader Live

General Election 2024: Starmer Can’t Stand Up To Abbott Let Alone Putin, Says Jeremy Hunt – Watch Labour Leader Live

30 May 2024 • 10:14am


Vaughan Gething: Keir is offering hope for a better tomorrow Vaughan Gething, the Welsh First Minister, said there was a “clear choice at this election”.

“More chaos with the Tories or a new start with Labour. In Wales, Labour has a proud history of standing up for our communities. Today Keir is offering hope for a better tomorrow.

“It is time to let that hope and history rhyme. It is time for two Labour governments, working together for your future, delivering on our nation’s promise. It is time for young people to feel hopeful for a brighter future right here at home. It is time to win.”


First Minister: Tories have blocked Welsh Labour at every turn Vaughan Gething, the Welsh First Minister, is speaking at a campaign event with Sir Keir Starmer.

“Uncertainty stalks our streets and hobbles the ambition of young people for our future,” Mr Gething said.

“At every turn over the last 14 years, the Tories have tried to block Welsh Labour from delivering transformational change for our country. They slashed our budget, blocked our legislation and day after day after day they put politics above people. Treating politics as a game, not a route to opportunity, hope and security.

“Just a few months ago Rishi Sunak wouldn’t even pick up the phone to Mark Drakeford to help save thousands of steelworkers’ jobs. But Sunak wants you to save his job. But he wouldn’t lift a finger or a phone to save yours… Rishi Sunak and the Tories will never stand up for Wales.”


Davey gets ready to slip and slide Sir Ed Davey has arrived at a slip and slide on the outskirts of Beckington, near Frome, for his latest election campaign stunt, writes Tim Sigsworth.

Here, the Lib Dem leader will launch himself down a 10-metre drop with local candidate Anna Sabine and slide another 30 metres to the waiting press.

Ms Sabine, who owns a chain of co-working cafes in Bath and the surrounding area, is standing for the party in the new Frome and East Somerset seat.

The Lib Dems previously won the Somerton and Frome predecessor constituency in a July 2023 by-election.


Candidate running against Streeting hits out at ‘Labour Party purges’ The independent pro-Palestinian candidate standing against Wes Streeting has said that the “Labour Party purges” of recent days show that they “no longer represent the voices of young ethnic minorities and Muslims”, Genevieve Holl-Allen reports.

Leanne Mohamad, who is standing in Ilford North, wrote on X, formerly Twitter: “The last few days of Labour Party purges are evidence enough that this party no longer represent the voices of young ethnic minorities and Muslims.

“We have to move beyond this two-party nightmare.”

Ms Mohamad was chosen as an independent parliamentary candidate in Ilford North in January following a hustings event open to local residents.


Coming up Sir Keir Starmer is about to give a speech in Wales alongside Vaughan Gething, the Welsh First Minister.

You can follow along live and watch Sir Keir’s remarks at the top of this live blog.


‘Starmer’s sinister plan for Britain will end the country as we knew it’ Labour’s real plans for office remain shrouded in mystery, but we know one central fact: Sir Keir Starmer’s party is a fanatical believer in “international law”, writes Allister Heath.

It will be predisposed to accept any new treaty that limits Britain’s ability to govern itself, and will cheer any ruling from a global court striking down the actions of a national government.

It will reflexively take sides with the “international community”, Davos man, the human rights lawyers, post-national technocrats, Foreign Office mandarins and NGO activists.

None of this should come as a surprise. Labour in 2024 is the party of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), of the UN and its agencies, however corrupt or wrong-headed, of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the World Health Organisation, the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice. It considers criticism of such bodies, even when their decisions are absurd, to be taboo.

Allister Heath: Labour risks further catastrophic damage


The Daily T: Starmer’s Left-wing problem Diane Abbott has been barred from standing as a Labour candidate in the General Election… or has she?

Camilla Tominey and Kamal Ahmed unpack whether the veteran MP will be allowed to stand for Labour in July and debate why Labour’s Left is still creating problems for Sir Keir Starmer:


Lord Frost: Voters not offered enough choice between Labour and Tories Voters are not being offered enough choice between the two main parties, a senior Boris Johnson ally has warned.

Lord Frost said the Conservative Party had been “going down the same track as the Labour Party, but at a slower pace” and “we need to get onto a different path” with policies to win back supporters.

Speaking at an event to mark the 200th episode of The Telegraph’s Planet Normal podcast, the former Brexit negotiator also suggested that he may stand as a Tory MP at the election in five weeks.

He said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak giving him the green light to stand on Friday “opens possibilities” and “we’ve got to let that play out and see where it takes”.

Ewan Somerville has the full story here


‘No deal with Tories’ says Reform leader as he slaps down Farage Richard Tice has slapped down Nigel Farage over his hint at a possible election pact with the Tories.

The Reform UK leader said there are “no deals” to be done with the Conservative Party after Mr Farage suggested he could be willing to come to an agreement.

Mr Farage, the honorary president of Reform UK, said he would be open to “a conversation” with the Conservatives if they give him “something back” for the “huge favours” he has done over the years.

Richard Tice and Nigel Farage on stage at Reform’s annual conference last year Credit: Chris J Ratcliffe In an interview with The Sun’s Never Mind the Ballots show, Mr Farage said: “I’ve done them some huge favours over the years as a party. Give me something back. We might have a conversation.”

But on Thursday, Mr Tice told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The reality is there is no deals with the Conservative Party. He’s having a bit of banter with Harry Cole of The Sun and that’s a bit of fun. But the reality is we are doing no deals with the Tories.”

Amy Gibbons, our Political Correspondent, has more here


‘There are lots of different tins of dog food’ Jeremy Hunt did not appear to know how much the price of a tin of dog food cost on Sky News.

Asked “Do you know how much a tin of dog food costs?”, the Chancellor replied: “There are lots of different tins of dog food.”

Mr Hunt has a dog called Poppy, who can be seen helping him with his fiscal planning below:


The Tories’ new election poster: ‘If you think Labour will win, start saving…’ 9:01AM

Election diary: What’s happening on the campaign trail today Rishi Sunak will continue his charm offensive in the south of England on Thursday afternoon as he visits Buckinghamshire for an election question-and-answer session with workers in a traditional Tory heartland.

Opponent Sir Keir Starmer is headed to Wales, where he is set to launch Labour’s “doorstep offer” to voters alongside Jo Stevens, the shadow Wales secretary, and Vaughan Gething, the Welsh First Minister.

Sir Keir Starmer with Labour activists at Worcester City FC’s ground Credit: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg The visit comes as Sir Keir finds himself under fire over his handling of the Diane Abbott row. It is also the day after confirmation that the Welsh First Minister will face a confidence vote in the Senedd following the collapse of the Welsh Labour agreement with Plaid Cymru.

Read The Telegraph’s full election diary here


Rachel Reeves’s seemingly empty waffle has been decoded – and it’s terrifying The general election has been called and the respective party leaders are busy trying to define what it is all about, writes Brian Monteith.

Should we recognise and nurture a slow recovery or change course to avoid chaos and incompetence? Or from a different perspective, must we lash ourselves to the submerging mast of net zero, or focus on repelling the cultural assault proffered by mass immigration and wokery?

Yet none of these false constructs (that are not mutually exclusive) confront the key question that the broadcast media interrogators also fail to address – what will Keir Starmer’s Labour actually do if fortunate enough to gain power?

In the absence of clear declarations of intent by the Labour leadership (other than putting 20pc VAT on independent school fees and hiking taxes on domestic oil and gas production) I have felt compelled to write a series of articles seeking to establish the reality of Labour economic policy, as it will determine the parameters for everything else it will do.

Brian Monteith: Labour is only being economical with the truth


Sadiq gets the scoop as Tooting Bec Lido reopens Sadiq Khan enjoyed an ice cream yesterday evening at the official opening of Tooting Bec Lido. The Labour Mayor of London wrote on Instagram: “The new refurbishment at the UK’s biggest open-air freshwater pool – and my local, is a fantastic community space for all to enjoy.” Credit: Sadiq Khan/Instagram 8:25AM

Jeremy Hunt takes aim at Starmer I absolutely do think it is my job to highlight the risks of a Labour government that crashed the economy before.

And I believe would, even if they didn’t crash it, would fail to grow it in the way it needs to go.

I would just say one more point about risk. If Keir Starmer can’t deal with Diane Abbott, how on earth is he going to deal with Vladimir Putin?


We believe Labour will raise taxes, says Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said he was “not pretending” there hadn’t been times when Tory Governments raised taxes.

Mr Hunt told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We believe [Labour] will have to increase taxes because they have £38bn of spending in the next Parliament that they have committed to.”

Asked if he would increase the NHS budget by around three or per cent a year in real terms, the Chancellor said he had a “good track record” on health service spending.


Jeremy Hunt: Tax thresholds will stay frozen until 2028 Asked about Rachel Reeves’s assurances that she had no plan to raise VAT, Jeremy Hunt told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “In an election campaign it is legitimate to concern about a Labour Party that doesn’t seem able to make up its mind on these basic issues.

“Four times this week Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeves had the chance to deny that they were going to increase VAT, and they refused to do so until late last night… When Labour can’t make up their mind, taxes will go up as night follows day.”

On income tax going up until 2028, he added: “The tax rises that happened as a result of the pandemic and the energy shock, these two giant shocks, will stay for their allotted time period. Let’s be crystal clear, in autumn 2022 I took very difficult decisions, yes to increase taxes, and now in my Budget and Autumn Statement last year, I’ve been able to bring them down.

“I can absolutely undertake that the threshold freeze that we introduced until 2028 will not continue after that.”


‘I don’t think there’s any question of Keir’s leadership’ Darren Jones rejected the suggestion the Diane Abbott row was “not a good row” for Sir Keir Starmer.

“I don’t think there’s any question of Keir’s leadership here,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“There is an independent process here that is independent of Keir’s leadership, that is run for any partnership.”


Darren Jones declines to say nine times whether Abbott should stand Asked whether he felt sorry for Diane Abbott, Darren Jones, Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, said: “Yeah, I suppose I do really, because it’s unfortunate that we’re in this position after her service to her community and her country.

“But the independent complaints process in any party and in the Labour Party is independent of any politician’s status or history. Where we’ve ended up now because of this snap election is in this accelerated process.”

Pressed for a personal view, Mr Jones told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “That’s a question for Diane and for Diane to have that conversation with the Labour Party. It’s not for me to speak for Diane or the Labour Party.”

Mr Jones was pressed on nine separate occasions by Emma Barnett on whether he thought Ms Abbott should stand but declined to give a view.


Jeremy Hunt: I want to start bringing taxes down In his interview with BBC Breakfast, Jeremy Hunt said the past four years had been “truly exceptional” because of the pandemic and an energy crisis.

“What you get with a Conservative Government is a team of people who are willing to take the difficult decisions that are necessary to get the economy back on its feet.”

On high levels of tax, he said: “Yes, I did put up taxes after the pandemic but the big difference in British politics today in an election campaign is that a Conservative Government wants to bring taxes down… When it comes to the windfall profits made by energy giants, we have been prepared to take difficult decisions.”

And asked whether energy giants would pay more or less tax under a future Tory government, Mr Hunt responded: “I want to start bringing taxes down on business and on consumers and on families because that will help to grow the economy and create more jobs… I want to start bringing taxes down, I made a start with the National Insurance cuts and the full expensing for businesses, and that’s the direction I want to go.”


Jermey Hunt: Higher mortgage rates not a result of Liz Truss Asked about “mortgages which remain stubbornly high because of what a former Conservative prime minister did” and high costs of living, Mr Hunt replied: “Charlie, I really would challenge you, and I know the BBC is fiercely impartial. I would really challenge you on making statements like you’ve just said.

“Because if the higher mortgage rates were the result of Liz Truss, why is it that living standards have fallen further in Germany or Austria or Sweden? The reason why we’ve had 11 per cent inflation and interest rates have to go up was because of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.”

Challenged on whether there was “no connection” between Ms Truss’s policy decisions and interest rates that people are paying when their fixed rates end, Mr Hunt said: “I reversed the decisions that she took. That’s why I think you can see the reason interest rates went up was because of global factors, I think most people understand that.

“Of course the Labour Party would like to say that it’s something that a Conservative Government did. But look at what the independent International Monetary Fund (IMF) said last week. They said the difficult decisions that Rishi Sunak and I have taken are ‘paying off’… [They] said that it is good news for the UK economy, that we have turned a corner, and we are heading for a ‘soft landing’.”


We want to avoid austerity-style cuts – Jeremy Hunt Jeremy Hunt said the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) was “absolutely right to point to the fact that public finances are very challenging”.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, the Chancellor added: “Because we want to avoid austerity-style cuts that we had to have after the financial crisis, I set out in the Budget very clear plans to improve the efficiency of public services.

Jeremy Hunt preparing for his broadcast media round this morning Credit: Tayfun Salci/ZUMA Press Wire/Shutterstock “Conservative governments are prepared to take difficult decisions to make sure we can continue to grow the economy. But when it comes to tax or welfare reform or creating a flexible labour market so we can keep creating the jobs we need, you don’t see the willingness to take those decisions from the Labour Party.”


Hunt: Tories will not raise income tax, National Insurance or VAT Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor, told BBC Breakfast: “What I can confirm is that a future Conservative government will not increase income tax, National Insurance or VAT and that is a very important commitment to people who are worried about cost of living.

“I think people are right during an election campaign to be worried about a Labour Party that can’t make up its mind on these very basic issues… As sure as night follows day, taxes will go up.”

He added: “You can look at the National Insurance cuts which originally [Rachel Reeves] supported, now she says she doesn’t want to bring down National Insurance further. You can look at the £28bn they dithered on for months and months. And what you have is a party that when it comes to the basic economic questions cannot make up its mind.”

Mr Hunt’s pledge to raise none of the taxes he mentioned was matched overnight by Rachel Reeves, Labour’s shadow chancellor.


Faiza Shaheen: I’m so shocked right now to be treated this badly “Honestly I’m so shocked right now, to be treated this badly”

Faiza Shaheen, who was set to stand for Labour, describes hearing that her candidacy had been pulled over liking a series of Tweets which she claims Labour said would frustrate its campaign#Newsnight

— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) May 29, 2024 7:37AM

Darren Jones: Of course we’re accelerating candidate processes Asked whether Labour was “clearing house” ahead of the election, Darren Jones told Sky: “There’s always an accelerated process when a snap election is called.

“Because you’ve got to make sure that the candidates are sorted, all of these processes are concluded… Yes, we’re processing all of those outstanding issues.”

Mr Jones insisted Labour was “ready for an election at any point”, adding: “We constantly had our plans ready to go, as I think you saw by the professionalism and quality of our launch as soon as it was announced.

“Would I have bet on July 4 before the Prime Minister said so? No, I thought it would be autumn at that stage…”

He added polls were “just a snapshot of today, not a prediction of the future… This is not a done deal by any stretch of the imagintion”.


Darren Jones refuses three times to say if he wants Diane Abbott to stand Darren Jones, Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, said “I don’t think a decision has been made” about Diane Abbott.

He told Sky News: “Any candidate that’s currently not endorsed needs to have a conversation with the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party if they wish to be endorsed and stand as a Labour candidate.

Credit: Sky News “I’ve seen Diane’s been on the news but I hope a conversation would happen if she wants it to happen… As far as I’m aware she’s not been ‘barred’ from standing. As far as I’m aware no decision’s been taken about whether she’s going to be the candidate or not.”

Mr Jones three times refused to say whether he wanted to see Ms Abbott run as a candidate.


Labour refuses to rule out some cuts to public services Darren Jones, Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, refused to rule out cuts to some public services.

“We’re going to have to do a spending review if we win the election on July 4 and it’s going to be really hard because of the state of the economy and what we would inherit from the Conservatives, the worst fiscal inheritance since the Second World War.”

Pressed on whether he would potentially cut some public services, Mr Jones replied: “We’re not planning to cut public services. We’ll have to do the spending review.

“But what we have set out in our first six steps for the Labour manifesto is fully-funded, fully-costed policies, those first steps, 6,500 extra teachers in schools, 40,000 extra appointments in the NHS each week, funded by closing tax loopholes which we’ll be able to get on with immediately.”


Darren Jones: ‘We have no plans to raise taxes on working people’ Darren Jones, Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, is on the morning broadcast round for the official opposition.

“The Conservative Party are desperate to try to say that they’ve scored a point in this election campaign but Rachel Reeves has been consistently clear that we have no plans to raise taxes on working people, we’ve said it a million times,” he told Sky News.

“I’m not sure what the Conservatives are trying to get at here. We have no plans to raise taxes on working people. Do you know why? Because the burden of tax on working people is the highest it has been in the last 70 years because of the Conservative Party.”

He said his party’s “working people” language came as “shorthand for working people”.

Mr Jones added the Tories’ pensioner tax pledge was “entirely unfunded”.


Vote Tory and get Labour, says Richard Tice Pressed on whether he was more scared of Rishi Sunak or Sir Keir Starmer being prime minister after July 4, Richard Tice told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “They’re both a horror show for the United Kingdom.

“The truth is they’re both forms of socialism – high taxes, big state, more immigration. Vote Tory, get Labour, because everyone knows that the Tory Party are not going to win this election.

“Ninety-nine point nine per cent of people think Labour is going to win this general election.”


Tice: I lead Reform, not Farage – and there’ll be no Tory deal Richard Tice was asked about Nigel Farage, Reform’s honorary life president, hinting he would consider a deal with the Conservatives if there was “something in return”.

Mr Tice told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The reality is there is no deals with the Conservative Party. He’s having a bit of banter with Harry Cole of the Sun and that’s a bit of fun.

Credit: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg “But the reality is we are doing no deals with the Tories. They’ve betrayed Britain, they’ve betrayed Brexit… Nigel and I we speak loads of times every day.”

Challenged on the need to “take people at their word” during an election campaign, Mr Tice replied: “You also have to have a sense of humour within life. I’m very happy to provide the exact clarification. Of course there’s no deals, of course not, absolutely not. I’m the leader of the party and I’ve been saying that very clearly for the last few years.”


Tice: ‘Nicey-nicey’ illegal immigration policy not working Richard Tice, the Reform UK leader, said a “nicey-nicey” approach on illegal migration was not working.

Mr Tice told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “With regards to stopping the boats, neither of the main two parties have a plan. We know Rwanda is a farce, it won’t be a deterrent whatsoever, and Labour has no plan.

“Under international maritime law, France has legal obligations in order to prevent the loss of life at sea, to pick up and take back. They are failing in those obligations and if they continue to fail in those obligations, we have the right, the legal right, to pick up and take back to France… The only difference is you pick up and take to France [not Dover].”

Asked what about his experience could bring the French government to the table where others had failed, Mr Tice replied: “Firstly we know it works because it’s what the Belgian authorities are doing. The reality is you’ve got to have a hard discussion with France and say you’ve got to meet your international obligations, otherwise we’re going to do the job for you.

“We know at the moment the being nicey-nicey and diplomatic, not going very well. People are dying in the Channel and the kind and compassionate thing to do is to pick up and take back so people stop dying.”


Tories accuse Labour of ‘major policy U-turn’ over VAT The Tories have accused Labour of a “major policy U-turn” after Rachel Reeves issued a statement insisting her party was not planning to increase VAT.

Labour has repeatedly refused to rule it out when asked at various campaign events, prompting Jeremy Hunt to accuse the opposition of having a secret plan to raise it.

A Conservative Party spokesman said: “Keir Starmer, Rachel Reeves and Darren Jones have repeatedly refused to rule out raising VAT throughout this campaign and have now only caved in due to a CCHQ press release.

“They have pulled their shadow home secretary off the morning media round and deployed Darren Jones to tell everyone that ‘nothing has changed’. If they were not planning to increase VAT they would have ruled it out on the many occasions they have been asked to do so by the media.

“The reality is everyone knows this is a major policy U-turn and the second time they have junked economic policy due to CCHQ press releases. If this is how they make major tax policy decisions in opposition, imagine how chaotic they would be in government.”


Lib Dems head for the West Country Sir Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat leader, will be visiting the West Country today on his now-signature battle bus, writes Tim Sigsworth.

Recent days have seen Sir Ed take part in a number of stunts, including falling into Lake Windermere while paddleboarding and cycling down a steep hill.


Left-wing Labour candidate blocked from standing amid anti-Semitism row A Left-wing Labour candidate has been blocked by the party from standing at the general election after she allegedly liked a series of posts on X that downplayed anti-Semitism accusations.

Faiza Shaheen, an economist and academic, was selected to be Labour’s candidate in the north London constituency of Chingford & Woodford Green but found out last night that she will not be endorsed by the party.

Faiza Shaheen out on the campaign trail with Jeremy Corbyn at the 2019 general election Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire She is the latest prospective Left-wing Labour candidate to be barred by the party from standing on July 4 and it comes amid the row over the candidacy of former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott.

The Telegraph reported yesterday that Labour has also suspended Lloyd Russell-Moyle, the MP for Brighton Kemptown, pending the outcome of an investigation into a serious complaint received last week.


Redwood: Where’s Hunt’s plan to boost productivity? Sir John Redwood has asked the Tory Party where its plan is to make Britain more productive and stop public sector losses.

Sir John is standing down as the MP for Wokingham after representing the constituency since 1987.

Welcoming “a rush to rule out” tax rises across the board, he wrote on X: “Can we now debate how we get better value for public spending? Where’s the plan to boost productivity and stop public sector losses?”


Your guide to day eight on the campaign trail 6:48AM

Analysis: Could Starmer smash the Ming Vase? Rishi Sunak is acutely aware of the mountain he has to climb if he has any chance of winning this election.

Hence a policy blitz that has included national service, the triple lock-plus and a crackdown on “Mickey Mouse degrees”.

Like his opposite number, Sir Keir Starmer has also been touring the country every day. But the Labour campaign is, to date, significantly lighter on policy as the party pursues a ‘Ming Vase’ strategy aimed at retaining a comfortable average lead of around 20 points.

But the risk that presents is a campaign which can easily be taken over by events – not least mounting anger over the Diane Abbott row.

Labour appears to have failed to plan for the need to make a decision about Ms Abbott sooner or later. And as dissent grows among both activists and backbenchers, the seemingly botched handling of the affair could well see Sir Keir lose control.


Jeremy Hunt accuses Labour of secret tax raid plan Jeremy Hunt has accused Labour of having a secret plan to raise VAT and has challenged Sir Keir Starmer to explicitly rule out the possibility.

Labour has repeatedly refused to rule it out after being asked at various campaign events.

Jeremy Hunt heading to his new Godalming and Ash constituency to canvas Credit: Geoff Pugh In the wake of the accusation, Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, issued a statement insisting that the party was not planning to increase VAT, although it remains to be seen whether that will be a manifesto commitment.

The attack will be on the first Conservative poster of the election campaign, unveiled on Thursday, which declares: “If you think Labour will win, start saving…”

Ben Riley-Smith, our Political Editor, has more


Analysis: How Labour failed to give Abbott a graceful end Had her former boyfriend Jeremy Corbyn won an unlikely victory in 2019, Diane Abbott would have become the country’s first black home secretary, writes Gordon Rayner.

Instead, she now appears destined to bow out of politics altogether – following a botched attempt to ease her out of Parliament with a modicum of dignity.

Ms Abbott, 70, was suspended by Labour in April 2023 following comments she made in a newspaper article about Jewish people experiencing a lower level of racism than black people.

Incredibly, Sir Keir Starmer had insisted the investigation into her behaviour was ongoing despite 13 months having passed, but with the election five weeks away Ms Abbott needed a decision on whether she could stand as a Labour candidate.

Sir Keir Starmer’s team wanted to give her a “soft landing” so that she could “go with grace”, party sources said. They decided to restore the whip with the expectation that she would then announce her retirement. But someone in the Labour Party had other ideas.

Gordon Rayner: How even senior ministers are in the dark over Abbott


Diane Abbott tells Starmer: ‘I won’t be intimidated’ Diane Abbott warned Sir Keir Starmer last night that she would not be “intimidated” as she vowed to remain the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington.

In her first public remarks about the row over her selection, which has thrown Labour’s campaign into turmoil this week, she said that she intends to stay on as an MP “by any means possible”.

Sir Keir’s leadership was questioned on Wednesday by his own party as he was accused of “bullying” and “vindictive” treatment of Ms Abbott.

Senior Labour figures broke ranks to attack their party’s handling of the affair, with several MPs going public with their criticism.

Addressing her supporters on the steps of Hackney Town Hall, Ms Abbott said: “You have always stood with me, in good times and bad. And I will always stand with you. I am not going to allow myself to be intimidated. I am going to be your MP as long as I am allowed to.”

Read more on the Diane Abbott row here


Good morning Dominic Penna, The Telegraph’s Political Correspondent, guiding you through day eight of the general election campaign.