Diane Abbott replaced as shadow home secretary due to ‘ill health’
Abbott, who has been repeatedly criticized for a string of car crash media interviews and gaffes in recent weeks, will be replaced by Lyn Brown, who currently serves as the shadow policing minister.
Abbott pulled out of two major election events on Tuesday due to illness, amid relentless criticism from the Tories who say she is a weak link in Labour’s team.
Abbott tweeted on Wednesday: "Touched by all the messages of support. Still standing! Will rejoin the fray soon. Vote Labour!"
Touched by all the messages of support. Still standing! Will rejoin the fray soon. Vote Labour!— Diane Abbott (@HackneyAbbott) June 7, 2017
On Monday, Abbott struggled to recall the contents of a report on counter-terror policing during an appearance on Sky News. Earlier in the campaign, she incorrectly said Labour would hire more police officers at a cost of £30 ($39 each) in an awkward interview on LBC radio.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told the BBC that Abbott had not been well for a “couple of days” and was “taking a break from the campaign.”
“Of course Diane is somebody that works extremely hard and represents her community very well, and I have to say has received totally unfair levels of attack and abuse not just recently - over many years.”
Asked how long she would be taking a break, Corbyn said: “I’ll be talking to her later on today - she’s not well at the moment.”
He would not say whether Abbott would be given the job of Home Secretary if Labour won the general election on Thursday.
Barry Gardiner, a Labour MP, told Talk Radio that Abbott was suffering from a “long-term condition” but did not know what the condition was.
He said: “I don’t have her medical condition. I’m given to understand she’s been diagnosed with her medical condition, it’s a long-term condition, and she’s been coming to terms with that.”