Diane Abbott: Rivals are “geeky young men in suits”

Diane Abbott has hit out at rivals for the Labour Party leadership, calling them "geeky young men in suits", accusing them of "pretending they weren't there" at the heart of Government.

Diane Abbott has hit out at rivals for the Labour Party leadership, calling them “geeky young men in suits”, accusing them of “pretending they weren’t there” at the heart of Government – finding it “amazing” some of them were now seeking to distance themselves from policies like Iraq – and saying that if Ed Balls wasn’t behind the briefings against Tony Blair it must have been his “evil twin brother”.

Abbott’s explosive interview is the last in the series of interviews with the leadership candidates on the BBC News Channel with Laura Kuenssberg. She says of Ed Balls, Andy Burnham, David Miliband and Ed Miliband:

You wouldn’t believe to hear them that they were at the heart of the new Labour project for at least a decade, whether or not they were MPs or not, they were at the heart, they were working for one or the other of the two  key people.

“They were members of cabinet for five years and yet at hustings after hustings they tell you they disagreed with this, they disagreed with that, they don’t know why we did this, they don’t know why we did that, and all this hand-wringing and pretending they weren’t there, that they weren’t at the heart of the project, is slightly, ….amazing.

“It’s difficult to see how we can move on from the era that Mandelson symbolises if we select someone who was in to it up their neck.”

She adds:

“We’re not going to be able to engage with society and particularly engage young people in politics, if they see the political class as a cast apart, a strange sort of geeky young men in suits…

“The other reason why i’m the best candidate, is on policy, I’m the most consistent, I haven’t discovered in the last couple of months that I was against the Iraq war.

Last night Ed Balls appeared on This Week, denying all allegations – made by Lord Mandelson, Alistair Campbell and Andrew Ransley amongst others – of briefing against Mr Blair, reiterating his remarks on Tuesday that it was “total, absolute nonsense” that he had been the ringleader of the September 2006 coup against the former prime minister.

13 Responses to “Diane Abbott: Rivals are “geeky young men in suits””

  1. John West

    RT @leftfootfwd: Diane Abbott: Rivals are "geeky young men in suits": //bit.ly/dl6tds #LabourLeader

  2. David 'Daf' Adley

    RT @leftfootfwd: Diane Abbott: Rivals are "geeky young men in suits": //bit.ly/dl6tds #LabourLeader

  3. James Shirtcliffe

    LOL a little childish? RT @leftfootfwd Diane Abbott: Rivals are "geeky young men in suits": //bit.ly/dl6tds #LabourLeader

  4. Liz McShane

    If it wasn’t for ‘one of the geeky young men’ she wouldn’t have secured the required number of nominations!

  5. Robert

    And yet Dear Liz we have labour men like Blair and lard ass brown telling us women are equal in the Labour party, the women only slates were a laugh and the parachute system labour used.

    Sorry if labour had changed so much why are women not so far advanced that we have three men and three women, instead we have men Millipedes sorry Milibands both of them New Liebour, we have Burnham a voice hardly heard in the past keeping his head down, and balls who is more then likely so far up brown ass he is his second eye, and Abbott thrown in to tell women see your equal now.

    bull shit the lot of them

  6. James Lawless

    RT @leftfootfwd: Diane Abbott: Rivals are "geeky young men in suits": //bit.ly/dl6tds #LabourLeader

  7. Liz McShane

    Robert – The Labour Party has more women MPs than the other two put together. Sometimes shortlists are necessary to make up ground – whether it is gender or ethnicity-based.

    I would have liked Yvette Cooper to have thrown her hat in to the ring but alas she decided not to.

    At the same time people just don’t vote for someone just because of their gender etc. – policies & vision are the determining factors – at least for me.

    I won’t even dignify the rest of your points with a comment.

  8. mariecx99

    RT @leftfootfwd: Diane Abbott: Rivals are "geeky young men in suits": //bit.ly/dl6tds #LabourLeader

  9. Neil Robertson

    As another geeky young man in a suit, I demand that Diane Abbott explain what's wrong with me //bit.ly/brSde8

  10. Graeme Archer

    Bravo RT @_NeilRobertson_:As another geeky young man in a suit, I demand that Diane Abbott explain what's wrong with me //bit.ly/brSde8

  11. Liz McShane

    I wonder does one of ‘the geeky young men in suits’ aka David Miliband, regret nominating her…?

  12. Look Left – The Week in Fast Forward | Left Foot Forward

    […] Abbott’s was the most revealing interview; as Left Foot Forward reports today, she describes her four rivals as “geeky young men in suits”, accuses them of […]

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