Since Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader of the Labour party, his main cheerleader Diane Abbott has never been far from his side. In fact, Abbott has even taken it upon herself to often fight Corbyn’s corner. This has involved warning unruly MPs about the size of his mandate, as well as having a heated argument with Jess Phillips during a meeting of the PLP, after the newly-elected Labour MP hit out at the lack of women in Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet.
Since then, it’s been claimed that Abbott — who has earned herself the nickname Madame Mao as a result of her behaviour — has also played up during meetings of the Shadow Cabinet. During a heated meeting on Syria, Abbott clashed with Lucy Powell — the shadow education secretary — and reportedly took to mimicking Powell’s accent during the argument.
Today Powell appeared on Daily Politics where Andrew Neil asked Powell about her relationship with Abbott. Rather than put on a united front, Powell gave a remarkably honest answer when it came to the incident:
AN: Is it true that Diane Abbott tried to mimic your accent in the shadow cabinet?
LP: Not quite my accent, no
AN: But she tried… she just wasn’t very good at it?
LP: Err… yes… sort of.. but you know Diane has her own special approach to these things that usually loses her the room, shall we say, on the occasion that she does them.
— BBC Daily Politics and Sunday Politics (@daily_politics) December 9, 2015