Diane Abbott 'free' to stand for Labour at general election, Sir Keir Starmer says

Diane Abbott is "free" to stand for Labour at the general election, Sir Keir Starmer has said.

Labour's general election campaign has been overshadowed by the internal chaos over the selection of candidates, with the uncertainty over Ms Abbott's future coinciding with the confirmation that influential figures loyal to the leadership will be allowed to run in safe seats.

The confusion began after Ms Abbott claimed she had been barred from standing for the party after having the whip restored to her this week following a year-long suspension over a letter she wrote in The Guardian suggesting Jewish people do not face racism.

But following the ensuing backlash, Sir Keir said no decision had yet been taken about whether Ms Abbott - the UK's first black female MP - would be allowed to defend her seat of Hackney North and Stoke Newington, which she has held consistently since 1987.

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