Diane Abbott MP speaking at a Justice for Chris Kaba rally in September 2022 (Picture: Steve Eason)

Diane Abbott vowed to be the parliamentary candidate “by any means possible” at a rally of her supporters in Hackney, east London, on Wednesday night.

It comes after the Labour leadership reinstated the Labour whip to left winger Abbott but then briefed the press that she was barred from standing as the Labour candidate. 

Abbott—the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington—said, “I joined the Labour Party almost 50 years ago and I’ve been a loyal member of the party. 

“I’ve been selected by my local CLP, banned nationally with no reason given. It is as if you’re not allowed to be a Labour MP unless you repeat everything the leader says.” 

She added, “If you want to speak up for people, you will find yourself banned. By any means possible I will be the candidate for this constituency. I won’t allow myself to be intimidated. 

“I’m going to be your MP, as long as it is possible I will be the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington.” 

The rally of around 300 people was backed by three local councillors, who recently left Labour over Palestine. Penny Wrout, Claudia Turbet-Delof and Fliss Premru have since formed the Hackney Independent Socialist Group. 

The councillors had supported the Palestine encampment set up outside Hackney town hall calling for the council to break ties with Israel. 

Councillor Claudia Turbet-Delof told Socialist Worker, “Diane has inspired people like me—I am the first South American politician in Hackney. 

“Diane demonstrated to me that I have a place in politics. We won’t stop until Diane is confirmed as our candidate. Labour benefits a lot from Diane.” 

Suj, a Hackney constituent, told Socialist Worker, “I’d have so much respect for Abbott if she stood as an independent.”

Another Hackney resident, Sulekha Hassan, told Socialist Worker, “Diane’s been my MP my whole life, she’s always responded to my queries over the years. Her treatment is very representative of the rolling back of race equality. I think she should’ve stood as an independent a few months ago.” 

Ryan Ahmad, a resident of Hackney South constituency, told Socialist Worker that he quit the Labour Party on Wednesday morning.

Protester Lara added, “I won’t be voting for Starmer’s candidates, he’d moved into the conservative space. They’re not challenging the Tories. She’s a fighter and should have stood as an independent and could have set up a new left wing party with Corbyn.” 

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