Diane Abbott and Apsana Begum among Labour candidates confirmed for general election

Following bitter row and speculation over selections, more than 600 existing Labour candidates are now endorsed

Diane Abbott, Apsana Begum

Apsana Begum and Diane Abbott are among the Labour politicians who have been confirmed as party candidates for the general election. 

Following the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting today, more than 600 existing candidates have been approved, all except for in Barking & Dagenham and in Gosport where the candidates are still to be confirmed. 

It comes after intense speculation last week and a bitter row about whether veteran left-wing Labour MP Diane Abbott would be allowed to run in the election for Hackney North and Stoke, after she had the whip removed then reinstated. 

Doubts were also raised about the candidacy of Apsana Begum in Poplar and Limehouse, another prominent figure on the left of the party who has been outspoken about the war in Gaza. Local members apparently wrote to the NEC on Monday to demand her confirmation as a candidate.

Diane Abbott accused Starmer of an “appalling” cull of left-wingers after Faiza Shaheen was deselected in a shocking move that caused widespread criticism. Shaheen has now announced she has resigned from the Labour Party, saying her removal as a candidate had been “cruel and devastating”.

Another left-wing candidate Lloyd Russsell-Moyle was dramatically deselected last week in Brighton Pavillion after a complaint letter about his behaviour, that he believed to be a “vexatious and politically motivated complaint”. 

Keir Starmer came under fire after being accused of pro-leadership candidates being ‘parachuted’ into safe Labour seats at the last minute, including a number of individuals who themselves sat on the NEC.

The Labour leader denied his party blocked left-wing candidates and a Labour spokesperson has said Labour, “has selected a fantastic group of candidates in place for the General Election on Thursday 4 July.”

(Image credit: No 10 / Creative Commons)

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward

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