Theresa May today wished Diane Abbott a “speedy recovery” as she embarked on her final days campaigning in the General Election.
The Prime Minister’s day started at 5.30am with a visit to Smithfield Market in London, before travelling down to a bowling club in Southampton.
May, along with her husband Philip, then took a plane from Southampton to Norfolk to address activists on the outskirts of Norwich.
Speaking to journalists on the 30 minute flight, May was asked to give her reaction to the news that Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary had been replaced less than 24 hours before the polls opened.
She said: “How Jeremy Corbyn manages his shadow Cabinet is for him.
“I just wish Diane a speedy recovery.”
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.”
Abbott herself tweeted this morning to thank people for their “messages of support”.
May was repeatedly refused to give any prediction of the election result, and said: “I haven’t set a target.
“I think it was right the British people had the opportunity to have an election now so they can make a choice of who they want to see taking them through the Brexit negotiations and getting the best deal for Europe and its a choice of one of two people: me or Jeremy Corbyn.”
The Prime Minister insisted she had no regrets about calling the surprise election or the campaign itself, despite an embarrassing u-turn on a manifesto pledge on social care and Labour’s support rising in the polls.
She said: “I’ve enjoyed the campaign, obviously the two terrible terror attacks have been something that nobody wants to see take place at any time, including during an election campaign, but outside of those I’ve enjoyed getting out and about meeting a whole range of people across the country.”
When asked if the polls had surprised her, May replied: “There’s only one polls that matters and that’s the one that’s going to take place tomorrow, so let’s see what happens tomorrow.”
May’s dawn visit to Smithfield Market in London did not go without a hitch, with one trader repeatedly shouting “Vote Labour!” as she toured the stalls.
In a visit to Atherley Bowling Club in the constituency of Southampton Test – where Labour has a majority of 3,810 – May chatted with club members as she watched a game of bowls.