Diane Abbott, who supports Rebecca Long-Bailey to be the next Labour leader, said she will be stepping down when a new leader is elected. The Shadow Home Secretary said she will be returning to the backbenches as the next leader must “construct their own shadow cabinet”. Ms Abbott was asked whether she would serve in the next leader’s Shadow Cabinet after outgoing leader Jeremy Corbyn said he would happily serve under Rebecca Long-Bailey.
Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sky News, Ms Abbott said: “I will be stepping down because I think that the new leader, they have to be able to construct their own shadow cabinet.
“I was a backbencher for a few years and there’s an awful lot to do on the backbenches.
“One of the things that I will want to do is make sure we don’t make a swerve to the right on migration policy.
“I think that’s a dead-end for the Labour Party.
“We have to stand by our principles and stand by our values and make sure we have an immigration policy which is fair and workable.”
In the show, she also addressed her claims former Speaker John Bercow couldn’t have intimidated Black Rod after she called David Leakey’s bullying claims “unlikely” on Twitter.
Ms Abbott has faced backlash after suggesting on Twitter that parliamentary official David Leakey couldn’t be bullied after being in the army.
She fiercely defended her tweet regarding David Leakey’s claim that he was bullied by Mr Bercow.
In a post on social media, which has since been deleted, Ms Abbott said regarding the bullying allegations: “Allegations come from the former parliamentary official David Leakey.
“He had been a Lieutenant General who served in Germany, Northern Ireland and Bosnia. But claims he was bullied i.e intimidated and coerced by John Bercow. Unlikely.”
Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Ms Abbott said: “Anybody can be bullied. Anybody of any age or any profession can be bullied.
“I think intimidating Leakey is one thing but of course anyone can be bullied.”
Ms Ridge asked: “Anyone can be intimidated as well, can’t they?”
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The MP for Hackney North continued: “Anybody can be intimidated but I think that given Leakey and the leadership roles he has played; I think it is unlikely he was intimidated by John Bercow.
“Annoyed and insulted by John Bercow but not intimidated.”
She continued: “Anybody can be abused and I know more than some members of parliament because I remain the most abused online than any Labour MP.
“But all I was saying was given Leakey’s history, it seems unlikely that he would be intimidated by John Bercow.”
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