It has been announced that Dianne Abbott is to step aside from post of Shadow Home Secretary at least until after the general election. In a press release on June 7th, less than a day before polls were due to open, she announced that she would “rejoin the fray soon”.
In the official confirmation by Labour, Mrs Abbott was being replaced during a “period of her ill health”. But what is to be made of all this? And, is there an underlying reason for her apparent replacement? Rumours have already begun circulating in the press that she would be reinstated if Labour won the decisive vote on Thursday 8th June, yet Jeremy Corbyn would neither corroborate nor dismiss this rumour, remarking only that she had done “a good job” but was “not well today”.
Whilst we should not dismiss for one moment the state of Diane Abbott’s health, it seems more than coincidental that the replacement follows her most recent political blunder on Sky News. Indeed, her compendium of errors surrounding areas such as policing has earned her quite the reputation in the media and Westminster.
It would seem that the Former Shadow Home Secretary’s replacement, albeit too late, has come at a time where the Labour bigwigs hope they can reverse the electoral damage that Mrs Abbot has inflicted, namely through her evident incompetence.
But what comes as an even greater surprise, is Diane Abbott’s replacement. Upon receiving notification of her replacement, we were soon informed that the new Shadow and indeed prospective Home Secretary was Lyn Brown: the current policing minister. If we cast our mind back, this is the same Lyn Brown who resigned in protest of the vote of no confidence vote against Jeremy Corbyn. In explaining her actions, she remarked “…Following the overwhelming vote of the parliamentary Labour party, it was with a heavy heart that I concluded that we had reached a tipping point and, for the good of the party and the country, I believe that we should seek a new leader.”
Surely, this new Shadow Cabinet appointment only goes to emphasise the instability of the Parliamentary Labour Party, who only one day before the most decisive election in decades; demonstrated signs of desperation? Or does it, in fact, show a party who has woken up, and realised that if it was to secure election victory, it needed to remove the burden of blunder head shadow ministers, namely Diane Abbott? Only time will tell.