Monday 21 May 2018

Corbyn confirms Labour's Lyn Brown to step in as 'unwell' Diane Abbott takes break from campaign

Harriet Line

Jeremy Corbyn has announced that Lyn Brown will stand in for Diane Abbott as shadow home secretary for the period of her ill health.

Ms Abbott pulled out of two major election events on Tuesday due to illness amid relentless criticism from the Tories who see her as a weak link in Labour's team.

Earlier, the Labour leader told BBC Breakfast that she had not been well for a "couple of days" and was "taking a break from the campaign".

He said: "Of course Diane is somebody that works extremely hard and represents her community very well and I have to say has received totally unfair levels of attack and abuse not just recently - over many years."

Asked how long she would be taking a break, Mr Corbyn replied: "I'll be talking to her later on today - she's not well at the moment."

Ms Abbott had been due to take part in a debate on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour and a hustings organised by the London Evening Standard, but was replaced by shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry.

Jeremy Corbyn, who has undergone a political transformation in recent weeks, has demanded Theresa May's resignation as prime minister. Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images
Jeremy Corbyn, who has undergone a political transformation in recent weeks, has demanded Theresa May's resignation as prime minister. Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

A Labour spokeswoman said Ms Abbott's absence from the Woman's Hour debate was because she had fallen ill but the last-minute decision meant Ms Thornberry had to cycle to the studio to fill in.

Press Association

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