The New Statesman’s rolling politics blog


Diane Abbott to stand for shadow cabinet

With six seats guaranteed for female MPs, she's in with a fighting chance.

Diane Abbott would never have been let anywhere near the conference platform in the days of Tony Blair, but she's just delivered a powerful, if rather lachrymose, address from the stage. The big news is that she's decided to run for the shadow cabinet and will leave This Week if elected.

Her stock rose in the party during the leadership election but ultimately just 7 MPs voted for her, a reflection of a poor campaign that lacked momentum and direction. Abbott is not a figure most of the PLP would want to see in the shadow cabinet. The right loath her socialist politics and the left haven't forgiven her decision to send her son to private school.

This said, given that a minimum of six seats are guaranteed for female MPs, she's in with a fighting chance of making the final 19. But the arrival of a genuine socialist in the shadow cabinet certainly wouldn't help Ed Miliband shake off that "Red Ed" tag.


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