Labour investigation into Diane Abbott will conclude ‘within days’, says Starmer

A Labour Party investigation into Diane Abbott will be resolved before the general election, Keir Starmer has indicated.

The Labour leader was asked about the probe on Friday morning in relation to the recent defection of MP Natalie Elphicke to his party from the Conservatives. 

Questioned on whether Elphicke represents Labour better than Abbott, Starmer told the BBC that the former Conservative MP has accepted the party’s values. 

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Starmer also called Abbott, who has sat as an independent MP since April 2023 pending an investigation, a “trailblazer” who has done “incredible work”. 

He added that the investigation into the former shadow home secretary will conclude “within a few days”. 

Also speaking to LBC News on Friday morning about the probe into Abbott, Starmer said: “It will be resolved, yes of course it will. We have got a cut-off date for, I think it is June 4, or thereabouts. So we have got a date in place.”

Pushed on whether the Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP would have the Labour whip restored before polling day, the Labour leader said: “That is a process we are going through. The National Executive Committee in the end will decide that.

“But we have got a process in place and we will complete it reasonably soon now”, he added. 

Abbott’s suspension last year came after the MP wrote a letter suggesting Jewish people are not subjected to the same racism as some other minorities.

Abbott apologised over the comments and said the letter published in The Observer had been an “initial draft” sent by mistake.

Abbott’s letter stated that Jewish, Irish and traveller communities have experienced “prejudice”, but added: “This is similar to racism and the two words are often used as if they are interchangeable”.

Earlier this year, Abbot was at the centre of a major political controversy after comments from a Conservative donor were reported by The Guardian. 

In March, Frank Hester, the chief executive of The Phoenix Partnership, said he was “deeply sorry” following reports he said Abbott made him “want to hate all black women”.

He also reportedly said that Abbott “should be shot”.

At the time, Starmer was urged to withdraw the whip to Abbott, and the former Labour MP accused the party leadership of “digging in” over the issue. is the UK’s leading digital-only political website, providing comprehensive coverage of UK politics. Subscribe to our free daily newsletter here.

Diane Abbott: Labour leadership is ‘digging in’ over refusal to restore whip