The Staggers 8 October 2013 Diane Abbott sacked as shadow public health minister "Ed wanted more message discipline," says the former Labour leadership candidate. Sign UpGet the New Statesman\'s Morning Call email. Sign-up After flirting with resignation during the Syria crisis, Diane Abbott has now been given her marching orders. The Guardian's Hugh Muir broke the news that the former leadership candidate had lost her post as shadow public health minister, which she has held since October 2010, and Abbott later told the BBC that "Ed wanted more message discipline". Among other things, her departure from the front-bench will allow her to focus on her rumoured London mayoral bid. She recently told Progress: I wouldn’t rule it out…[London is] much more interested in and much more positive about diversity and multiculturalism. The political consequences of austerity [will be key]. Londoners don’t want a party hack. Big cities never want a party hack. They want someone who’s independent, who will stand up for them. › Slavoj Žižek: "Most of the idiots I know are academics" Diane Abbott speaks at the Labour conference in Manchester in 2010. Photograph: Getty Images. George Eaton is senior online editor of the New Statesman. Subscribe For daily analysis & more political coverage from Westminster and beyond subscribe for just £1 per month!