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General election latest: Keir Starmer ‘infuriated’ by secret Diane Abbott briefing

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Related video: Diane Abbott ignores media outside London home as she accuses Keir Starmer of ‘culling left-wingers’

Sir Keir Starmer was “infuriated” by “anonymous” briefings against Diane Abbott, his biographer has said.

Last week reports claimed the veteran left-winger Ms Abboott had been banned from standing again in her London constituency.

But the Labour Party leader later confirmed that Ms Abbott, the UK’s first black female MP, would be free to run under the party’s banner at the general election if she chose to.

“It’s always a ‘Labour source’ when that person could have been a number of people in a number of places,” he told his biographer Tom Baldwin, in an article published in The Observer.

Elsewhere, Scotland first minister and SNP leader John Swinney said voters wanted to bring an end to the “chaotic” Tory government as he launched his party’s campaign at an event in Glasgow.

“I am here to give everything I have, to secure the best future for our country,” the recently elected party leader said.

“That process starts with listening.  And this is what most people in Scotland are telling us: They want rid of this disastrous, chaotic Tory government.”

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ICYMI: Diane Abbott declares she will run as a Labour candidate and intends to win

Matt Mathers2 June 2024 23:16

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Rishi is finally cracking down on fly-tippers – here’s who he should go after next

With both parties seeking to crack down on street crime, Will Gore wonders if novel deterrents could be the answer.

Read Will’s piece in full here:

Matt Mathers2 June 2024 21:30

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Cameron urges Britons living abroad to register to vote by 18 June

Lord David Cameron has urged Britons living abroad to register to vote in the general election.

The foreign secretary advised the estimated five million Britons living overseas to use their lifelong right to vote in UK elections, saying that decisions taken towards a secure future on foreign policy, defence and trade will directly affect their lives.

He said: “Britons living overseas are flying the flag for Britain abroad, and nearly all of them retain a strong interest in the UK.

“Now, thanks to this Conservative government, all of them can vote in the general election – no matter how long they’ve lived abroad. So, I encourage them to sign up to have their say.”

Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron
Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron (PA Wire)

Matt Mathers2 June 2024 21:12

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ICYMI: Rory Stewart felt like a ‘fraud’ as a Tory MP

Rory Stewart has spoken of never wanting to go back into politics, saying he found being a Conservative minister “very unpleasant” and admitting: “I feel like a fraud all the time, in a whole series of ways.”

Mr Stewart ran to succeed Theresa May as prime minister and Tory leader in 2019 and came to prominence for his amusing and highly personal use of social media.

Matt Mathers2 June 2024 20:45

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Blocked Labour candidate Faiza Shaheen ‘considering standing in election as an independent’

Faiza Shaheen has previously said she is considering legal action against the party.

Matt Mathers2 June 2024 20:15

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In full: Diane Abbott declares she will run as a Labour candidate and intends to win

Matt Mathers2 June 2024 19:44

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Recap: Labour, Black voters and the damage of the Diane Abbott row

Last week Nadine White, The Independent’s race correspondent, took to the streets of Hackney, east London to take the temperature of voters there after local MP Diane Abbott was said to have been blocked from standing for the party again at the election.

“The strength of feeling in Hackney has been echoed elsewhere, with dozens of prominent Black Britons signing an open letter – seen by The Independent – warning the furore risked alienating Black voters,” she wrote.

“But is the party already seeing damage on the doorstep? Read the report in full below:

Labour, Black voters and the damage of the Diane Abbott row

The strength of feeling in Hackney has been echoed elsewhere, with dozens of prominent Black Britons signing an open letter – seen by The Independent – warning the furore risked alienating Black voters, Race Correspondent Nadine White writes. But is the party already seeing damage on the doorstep?

Matt Mathers2 June 2024 18:41

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Breaking: Diane Abbott confirms she’ll run as a Labour candidate and denies being offered peerage

Veteran MP Diane Abbott has confirmed that she will run as a Labour candidate at the general election.

Ms Abbott also denied reports that she had been offered a peerage not to stand again in Hackney North and Stoke Newington.

She wrote on X: “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.”

File photo: Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, said last week she could see no reason why Abbott could not stand again
File photo: Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, said last week she could see no reason why Abbott could not stand again (Getty/PA)

Matt Mathers2 June 2024 18:11

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Tories have ‘absolutely destroyed’ UK-EU relationship – Scottish Lib Dems

The Tories have “absolutely destroyed” Britain’s relationship with the EU, according to the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

Party leader Alex Cole-Hamilton told BBC One Scotland’s The Sunday Show of the Lib Dems’ hopes of getting Britain “back into the heart” of Europe.

Speaking with host Martin Geissler, he said the Liberal Democrats are “proud Europeans” and that his party would attempt to rebuild the country’s relationship with the EU and encourage free movement.

“The Conservatives have absolutely destroyed our relationship with Europe, there is no trust there right now at all,” he said.

“We had one of the hardest possible Brexits and we’re still paying the price for that in terms of the goods that we buy in our supermarkets, but also the absence of the skilled workforce that we used to enjoy.”

Scottish Liberal Democrats leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said the Tories have ‘absolutely destroyed’ the UK’s relationship with Europe (Jane Barlow/PA)
Scottish Liberal Democrats leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said the Tories have ‘absolutely destroyed’ the UK’s relationship with Europe (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)

Matt Mathers2 June 2024 18:00

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Swinney: ‘Vote for a future made in Scotland’

John Swinney has urged people to “vote for a future made in Scotland, for Scotland” by backing the SNP, as he formally launched the party’s general election campaign.

Speaking to activists and candidates at a rally in Glasgow on Sunday, Mr Swinney said that Westminster decision-making has meant “austerity, Brexit and a cost-of-living crisis being imposed on Scotland”.

He said: “At this election, my priority is to protect Scotland. Let’s ensure the decade of destructive decisions at Westminster is never again visited upon the Scottish people.

“I ask people to vote SNP so that decisions can be made in Scotland, for Scotland.”

He added: “I’m asking people to vote SNP to put Scotland’s interests first. I’m asking you to work with me, in a strong, unified team, to encourage people to vote for a future made in Scotland, for Scotland.”

John Swinney at the SNP General Election campaign launch (Jane Barlow/PA)
John Swinney at the SNP General Election campaign launch (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)

Matt Mathers2 June 2024 17:45

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