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Diane Abbott: People won’t even call themselves Blairites now

The Shadow Home Secretary on last year's shock general election result, Labour's Brexit stance, and the abuse she's faced during her 30 years as an MP

By Alex Dean  

Diane Abbott demonstrates against the new Conservative government—and its DUP partners—in June 2017. Photo: NurPhoto/SIPA USA/PA Images

When Diane Abbott went on the Andrew Marr Show on 17th December 2016, she was expecting a rough time. Her party was languishing ten points behind in the polls. Recent by-election results had been disastrous. 172 Labour MPs had denounced Jeremy Corbyn over the summer in a letter of no confidence. A bitter leadership contest had then exposed the party’s ideological divisions in the most public way imaginable.

But Abbott—long one of Corbyn’s closest allies—was defiant. Labour would, she told a sceptical Marr,…

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