Rod Liddle

Abbott wields the knife

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When she’s not breaking into her constituents homes and biting their children in the dead of night, Diane Abbott has been busy stabbing her fellow left wing Labour MP, John McDonnell, in the back. It was Abbott who brought to the world’s slightly nonplussed attention the “quip” made by McDonnell about wishing to assassinate Margaret Thatcher. She did this in order to force the likeable McDonnell out of the race so that she might pick up the left wing MPs who nominated him. Very fraternal of you, love. But successful, as it turns out, for McDonnell has indeed now withdrawn. If Abbott gets all of his MPs, however, she’s still short of the 33 needed to take part in the race – but one assumes that the acting leader, Harriet Harperson, will fix it somehow in Abbott’s favour. Harpie, in the manner of the Queen of Russia, has pronounced that she does not want to see a shortlist consisting entirely of men. Why should anyone care what she wants? She has now gone back on her word about not supporting any single candidate by actually nominating the Grand Pantomime of Hackney and Stoke Newington.

I suppose some of you out there are hoping Abbott wins the contest in order to render Labour perpetually unelectable.

Oh, and it goes without saying that one of the very few Labour MPs to have nominated Ms Abbott is that slippery little eel, Keith Vaz.