Diane Abbott has been temporarily replaced by Lyn Brown as Labour’s shadow home secretary “for the period of her ill health”, Jeremy Corbyn has announced.
Abbott pulled out of an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour yesterday morning after being “taken ill”. She also did not attend an election hustings organised by the Evening Standard yesterday evening.
Shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner told HuffPost UK: “I have been told that Diane has been diagnosed with a serious, long-term condition.
“I hope people will simply say ‘OK, fair dos, if that’s the reason she’s been under par, we should back off’.”
Gardiner said that he hoped there would be be less “cynicism” about Abbott, but added: “But I’m afraid politics is an unkind business.”
Theresa May said: “How Jeremy Corbyn manages his Shadow Cabinet is for him. I wish Diane Abbott a speedy recovery.”
The close ally of Corbyn has stepped aside from her job in the shadow cabinet less than 24-hours until polls open in the general election.
When Abbott pulled out of Woman’s Hour, Conservative cabinet minister Priti Patel accused Labour of trying to keep Abbott off TV and radio due to poor performances. “Jeremy Corbyn wants to make Diane Abbott Home Secretary in just two days but is hiding her away from voters,” she said.
Brown, 57, is the Labour candidate for West Ham and has served as the MP for the seat since 2005. She has perviously served as a shadow Home Office minister under Corbyn, but resigned the post in June last year.