Latest Stories



No government can allow people to be attacked on its streets. Labour stands for greater security of our population, for the rule of international law and against the use of chemical weapons.


Jeremy Corbyn yesterday utterly condemned the poisoning incident in Salisbury and the use of chemical weapons. He did not demur from the measures Theresa May outlined against the Russian state and offered no criticism of them. Why, then, the furore over his comments, with headlines that are lurid and intemperate in equal measure?

The feigned uproar on the Tory benches began yesterday when Jeremy Corbyn criticised the cuts to the diplomatic service over the last five years, which have harmed our diplomatic capacity. It continued every time he asked probing questions of the Prime Minister about her efforts to establish exactly what happened in Salisbury, who precisely was responsible, and the subsequent response from the government. Jeremy Corbyn asks serious questions about a serious matter and he is met with manufactured outrage.

Contrary to myth, the Prime Minister did not claim she had proof of what exactly happened. She said it was likely that it was the Russian state, or agents who had access to Russian state assets. If we are to persuade any other nation to take significant measures alongside us, they may ask for a higher burden of proof.

The same outlets now condemning the Labour leader recently tried to label him as a Czech spy. They are not seekers after truth. They have an anti-Corbyn agenda.

The incident in Salisbury has dominated the political news - but it is not the sole issue facing us. Labour will continue to set an agenda that promotes peace and prosperity for all our citizens.


We will not be blown off course.


Diane @HackneyAbbott

This article first appeared in Labour List.

Corbyn and the Russian Threat - A Reflective Approach

  No government can allow people to be attacked on its streets. Labour stands for greater security of our population, for the rule of international law and against the use...

It’s only day two of my guest editorship of LabourList, but I want to break a news rule and look back at the last couple of days.

The weekend opinion polls didn’t get the coverage they deserved. Usually, any sign that Labour led by Jeremy Corbyn is slipping gets the widest possible airing. But three opinion polls were largely greeted by silence.


Survation was easily one of the more accurate pollsters in the 2017 general election. Its poll put the Tories down 3 at 37 points and our vote at 44, up 1. A whopping 7-point lead. The other (less accurate 2017) pollsters weren’t so favourable. But if we take an average of the three we still get LAB 42, CON 40.

Many will argue that it’s real votes in real elections that count. I agree. However, if we campaign strongly on our positive policies, we can turn poll support into actual results. Across the political spectrum, we are all united in condemning the appalling events in Salisbury. Attacks of this or any other kind cannot be allowed on our streets. But Jeremy Corbyn was right to issue a note of caution about our response. For example, the perpetual lobby for greater defence spending has seized on these events to play a familiar tune. This is a security matter, not a military one. Cool heads are required.

Yesterday in parliament there was a sharp reminder of some of the worst issues we have to deal with, following the widespread distribution of the ‘punish a Muslim day’ propaganda. Hate crime in all its forms is vile and obnoxious, and we condemn it utterly. Muslim communities, our friends and workmates bear the brunt of this contemptible stunt. We stand united in opposing all hate crime.

Today, the focus is on the spring statement and Labour’s shadow treasury team will have a strong response. The reality is that the Tory cuts were always purely ideological. Now they say they have met the Osborne target of balancing the current budget (excluding investment), but austerity will continue anyway. Big welfare cuts are in the pipeline, and John McDonnell has already highlighted the devastating cuts to children’s services.

On all these fronts, Labour will continue to fight for what is right. For proper funding of public services, and no more cuts. Against all hate crime, and for respecting diversity. Across the range of policies, this is a winning formula.

Diane @HackneyAbbott


Labour List is an online news service sponsored by Unite and Unison - you can sign up for a regular e mail with interesting articles - click on the link below.

Diane Abbott edits Labour List - Survation give Labour a Massive Lead in the Polls

It’s only day two of my guest editorship of LabourList, but I want to break a news rule and look back at the last couple of days. The weekend opinion...



Ahead of the centenary of women over 30 achieving the right to vote on Tuesday, Labour’s female shadow cabinet members give their thoughts on what women’s suffrage means to them.

The Labour Party is proud to have a gender-balanced shadow cabinet and to have more women MPs than all other parties put together.

Commenting on the centenary, female Labour shadow cabinet members said:

“Getting the vote was a crucial step forward for the empowerment of women. Personally I will never forget the day that I cast my first vote. Nor will I forget watching my first election count and seeing thousands of ballot papers with X against my name.”
Diane Abbott, Shadow Home Secretary

“The 1918 Representation of the People Act deliberately excluded working-class women from the vote. So feminism without socialism will not be for the many but the few. Even these restricted rights were hard won not by asking nicely, but by feminists imprisoned and tortured by successive right-wing Governments.”
Shami Chakrabarti, Shadow Attorney General

“Votes for women put us at the heart of our democracy, but we still face inequality. This is a moment to celebrate how far we’ve come and to renew our efforts on where we go next, not just here, but for our sisters across the globe still denied the right to vote.”
Lesley Laird, Shadow Scottish Secretary

“The suffragettes and suffragists won the right for us to vote and take our place in democracy; we take up their torch as we continue to fight for women’s right to economic and social equality, the right to be heard and the right to be anything we want to be.”
Valerie Vaz, Shadow Leader of the House of Commons

“In 2009, the fascist BNP were standing in the European elections. On polling day I ended up in hospital waiting to give birth, but I knew I had to use that right to vote. To everyone’s surprise, I insisted on getting out to the polling station to vote Labour.”
Angela Rayner, Shadow Education Secretary

“It is poignant to realise that I might have been voiceless in a Salford workhouse in 1918 rather than in Parliament. I thank those brave women and those who followed for the chances we now have but with gender inequality a ‘ferocious’ issue, we still have a long way to go.”
Rebecca Long Bailey, Shadow Business Secretary

“In marking the centenary of universal suffrage I remember the life of Annie Kenney, a cotton mill worker, from Springhead in my constituency who was the only working class woman to hold a senior position in the Women’s Social and Political Union. It is thanks to the many sacrifices made by her and fellow suffragettes, that I have the opportunity to serve.”
Debbie Abrahams, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary

“I still remember the excitement of my first vote over 40 years ago. I never imagined then I would become an MP – the 216th woman elected to the Commons. Or leading for Labour in the Lords – our party’s 5th female leader here.”
Angela Smith, Shadow Leader of the House of Lords

“It’s a century since women won the vote in the UK, but the struggle for gender equality is far from over here or around the world. Change only happens when women organise together – and the UK must stand shoulder to shoulder with today’s international suffrage movement.”
Kate Osamor, Shadow International Development Secretary

“I can’t imagine what it would be like to be prevented from voting. Not to be a part of the democratic process. I’ve voted at every election but have never taken it for granted. I will be forever indebted to the brave women who fought to give me my chance to shape our future.”
Christina Rees, Shadow Welsh Secretary

“I am proud to have been elected as an MP in Salford, which was for many years home to the suffragette, Emmeline Pankhurst. It was a bitter struggle to win the vote for women and it is an honour to follow in the footsteps of the women who fought that fight, as only the 288th woman ever elected.”
Barbara Keeley, Shadow Minister for Social Care

“On the centenary of property-owning women over 30 winning the right to vote, I’m reminded the fight for suffrage and equality is a journey and this was just the first step for women. We still have some way to go to see a truly equal politics in the UK.”
Cat Smith, Shadow Minister for Voter Engagement and Youth Affairs

“It’s important to recognise the anniversary of women’s suffrage, and the major milestones in women’s rights over the last century. Without women’s suffrage, none of these would have been possible. Personally, I am incredibly proud to have been the first woman to have been elected to represent a parliamentary constituency in Cumbria.”
Sue Hayman, Shadow Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary

“This centenary is an important landmark for women it highlights the importance of inclusion and equality. It opened doors for some women to vote and be elected to Parliament. But it wasn’t totally inclusive. It illustrates that every battle is worth the fight as it takes us a step closer to equality but we must never stop fighting”
Dawn Butler, Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities

“When women gained the vote, we gained the power to make change happen ourselves, not just ask men for it and hope. And when we think what the Suffragettes sacrificed to win us that power, we owe it to them to make the most of it, and never stop fighting for change.”
Emily Thornberry, Shadow Foreign Secretary

“For me this centenary is like passing an early milestone on a long journey. Just as suffragettes wanted the right to vote not just for itself, but so that they could right the injustices they saw women suffer, so the challenge now is not to let up in that fight.”
Nia Griffith, Shadow Defence Secretary


Facts & Figures

There is more gender equality than ever before in Parliament after a record 208 women were elected in 2017.
Nearly 100 years after the law was changed to allow women to become MPs, they now make up 32% of the Commons.
The number of women MPs has increased by almost 9% since the 2015 election, when 191 were voted into Parliament.
Labour has the most women with 119, while the Tories have 67, the SNP 12 and the Lib Dems 4.

The general election of 1987 saw the first ever black MPs voted into the House of Commons.
Fast forward 30 years and the 2017 result has seen 52 ethnic minority MPs elected, says think tank British Future.
Of those, 32 are Labour, 19 Conservatives and one Lib Dem.
It is an increase from 41 in 2015 and the highest number ever.

Labour Celebrates Centenary of Women's Suffrage

  Ahead of the centenary of women over 30 achieving the right to vote on Tuesday, Labour’s female shadow cabinet members give their thoughts on what women’s suffrage means to...

More Stories >

The Labour Party will place cookies on your computer to help us make this website better.

Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site.

To find out more about these cookies, see our privacy notice. Use of this site confirms your acceptance of these cookies.