Diane Abbott says she 'intends to run' as Labour’s candidate for Hackney North and Stoke Newington

Diane Abbott says she 'intends to run' as Labour’s candidate for Hackney North and Stoke Newington

Diane Abbott has said that she “intends to run and win” as Labour’s candidate for Hackney North and Stoke Newington.

In a post on X, the Labour contender denied any suggestion that she had been offered a peerage in return for not standing for election and said she “would not accept one if offered”.

Sir Keir Starmer had for days refused to back the veteran MP being able to stand at the general election.

But on Friday, after a backlash against his stance from within Labour, he said she would be “free” to do so.

Responding to a story in the Guardian which claimed that Ms Abbott was still weighing up whether to run, she tweeted: “This is factually incorrect. I have never been offered a seat in the Lords, and would not accept one if offered.

“I am the adopted Labour candidate for Hackney North & Stoke Newington. I intend to run and to win as Labour's candidate.”

Earlier on Sunday, shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said that she “assumed” that Ms Abbott would run.

“She continues to be a very important figure in the Labour Party, all the things that she has done, the campaigning work that she continues to do,” she told Sky News.

Baroness Chakrabarti, an ally of Ms Abbott, earlier suggested she may take a few days before making up her mind over whether to stand or not.

The peer told the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg: “I hope that she will now after this sometimes sordid week of unauthorised, anonymous briefings...she will take some time to consider what she wants to do.

“That is literally what I’ve suggested to her as her friend and I hope that is what she is going to do.”

Ms Cooper added that she would have liked to have seen Ms Abbott’s disciplinary case dealt with more quickly.

She also stressed: “Diane is often talked about as a trailblazer but it’s also some of the key things that she has done along the way, she was crucial in exposing the Windrush scandal.”

The Labour leader on Friday gave the green light for Ms Abbott’s candidacy, after his previous refusal to make a judgment, amid reports she was being barred, led to growing tensions in the party.

Sir Keir said: “The whip has obviously been restored to her now and she is free to go forward as a Labour candidate.”

For days, Sir Keir had declined to say whether Ms Abbott would be defending her Hackney North and Stoke Newington seat on July 4, as he faced claims of a “purge” of left-wing candidates.

Ms Abbott was suspended from Labour’s Parliamentary Party last year after she suggested Jewish, Irish and Traveller people experience prejudice, but not racism all their lives, sparking a long-running process which saw her sit as an Independent MP.

She apologised and distanced herself from the remarks.

She had the Labour whip restored this week, but it was briefed out that she might be “barred” from running for the party in the General Election.

Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee is expected to ratify the decision when it meets on Tuesday.

Sir Keir declined to say whether he had spoken to Ms Abbott on Friday, but it is understood he has not.

Earlier in the day, the Labour leader was still insisting that no decision had yet been taken, distancing himself from his deputy Angela Rayner and Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar, who had both backed Ms Abbott’s candidacy.

But in the early afternoon he announced the change of stance.