Keir Starmer denies purge of left-wing candidates

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The NEC, Labour’s governing body, will formally approve the party’s full slate of candidates on Tuesday.

It may decide not to endorse Ms Abbott and impose a different candidate instead. She could also be called interviewed by an NEC panel before the cut-off date.

Speaking to Times Radio, Labour’s Jess Phillips said she thought Ms Abbott should be allowed to stand and said the process had been “unedifying”.

Conservative chancellor Jeremy Hunt told the BBC: “If Keir Starmer can’t deal with Diane Abbott, how on Earth is he going to deal with Vladimir Putin?”

The row comes a week after former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn announced he would be running as an independent candidate in Islington North, having been suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party.

For the Labour campaign the politics of this episode are finely balanced. Some of Sir Keir’s supporters think a very public row with the left is no bad thing, advertising the message that their party has changed profoundly under his leadership.

But others worry that this row is spiralling fast out of control.

Another left-winger, Lloyd Russell-Moyle, has also been suspended by Labour over a complaint about his behaviour, and therefore is unable to stand as the party’s candidate in Brighton Kemptown.

He told BBC South East he believes it is a “vexatious and politically motivated complaint” about his behaviour eight years ago and that he would be “fully exonerated”.

Other candidates standing in Chingford and Woodford Green include: Chris Brody for the Green Party, Josh Hadley for the Liberal Democrats, Yousaff Khan for the Workers Party of Britain, Paul Luggeri of Reform UK and Iain Duncan Smith of the Conservative Party.

There are currently known to be two declared candidates in Hackney North and Stoke Newington: Antoinette Fernandez for the Green Party and Rebecca Jones for the Lib Dems.

In Islington North, Labour have selected Praful Nargund, the Liberal Democrats have selected Vikas Aggarwal, the Greens have chosen Sheridan Kates, and Reform UK have chosen Martyn Nelson.

The other candidates standing in Brighton Kemptown are Khobi Vallis for the Conservatives, Elaine Hills for the Greens, Stewart Stone for the Liberal Democrats, Kellie-Jay Keen for the Party of Women, Valerie Gray for the Social Democratic Party and Elaine Ghoneim for the Workers Party of Britain.

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