Listen: Diane Abbott says it’s ‘Westminster-centric’ to ask if Corbyn can win an election

Listen: Diane Abbott says it's 'Westminster-centric' to ask if Corbyn can win an election
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With Jeremy Corbyn's Shadow Cabinet now somewhat depleted, brains at Labour are left with less choice when it comes to who to send onto the airwaves to protect the leader's honour. As a result, readers ought to expect to hear a lot more from Diane Abbott -- the newly appointed Shadow Health Secretary -- in the coming days. Alas this may not be exactly what the beleaguered Labour leader needs as he continues to try and fend off the threat of a vote of no confidence.

This morning Abbott appeared on the Today programme to make the case for Corbyn's survival. Abbott said that if there was another leadership election, she was confident that Corbyn stood a very good chance of winning once again. However, when Sarah Montague asked how the party would then do in a subsequent General Election. After a dramatic pause, Abbott let it be known that she took issue with Montague's 'Westminster-centric' line of questioning:

SM: So he won't have difficulties filling his Cabinet as he does now after a win in a future leadership election?

DA: Party members are going to look dimly at people who have chosen to unleash this kind of mayhem, when we should be addressing the issues facing the country post-Brexit

SM: ... and then the Labour party goes to the country in a General Election and fares how?

DA: I can only repeat, you're being very Westminster-centric. This is about the party...

SM: Why is that Westminster-centric?

DA: Because all you're talking about is what MPs at Westminster are saying

If it's now 'Westminster-centric' to ask how the party would fare in a General Election, Mr S suspects that Labour may wish to reassess whether they are still the main opposition party.

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from London and beyond. Email tips to

Topics in this articlePoliticsdiane abbottjeremy corbyn