Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has announced that Diane Abbott is ‘standing aside’ due to ill health on the final day of campaigning before the election tomorrow.
Her replacement Lyn Brown got the top job in the shadow cabinet despite having previously quit the frontbench in June 2016 in protest against Mr Corbyn's leadership.
The West Ham MP resigned as shadow home office minister in June 2016 saying that Mr Corbyn’s leadership was “untenable” after a vote of no confidence among MPs.
At the time, she said: “I was pleased to have the opportunity to serve in Jeremy’s team. I have enormous respect for him as a person and as a tireless campaigner for the causes we both believe in.
“Following the overwhelming vote of the parliamentary Labour party, it was with a heavy heart that I concluded that we had reached a tipping point and, for the good of the party and the country, I believe that we should seek a new leader.”
But she returned as a shadow home office minister just a few months later in October 2016 and held on to the role despite revealing that she was prepared to vote against Brexit.
Earlier this month, Ms Brown attacked the Tories record on police cuts – an issue now at the heart of the election campaign after the London Bridge attacks.
"Whichever way you cut it, the cake is just too small," She told the Commons. "The combination of high crime and low police numbers leaves the public at risk."
Ms Abbott has been mocked by the Tories over blunders in interviews and has pulled out a series of events including the Evening Standard hustings last night.
A statement from the party said: “Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, has asked Lyn Brown to stand in for Diane Abbott as Shadow Home Secretary for the period of her ill health.”
Mr Corbyn said today: “She's not well a couple of days and she's taking a break from the campaign. 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.”
Ms Brown, the West Ham MP who was first elected to Parliament in 2005, has spoken about growing up in a loving family in Silvertown in Newham in East London.
She said: “I didn’t know money was short, because my mum, like many others, worked hard to ensure my sister and I had all we needed and a bit more.
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“We were lucky. Each year, we went to a seaside holiday camp for one, whole week. Then we’d visit family for a second.
“I loved those weeks: dancing, fancy dress, crazy golf and swimming. Looking back, it wasn’t really that special, but we loved it and looked forward to it every year.
"In today’s Newham, these ‘luxuries’ can’t be afforded by too many of our families.
"Half our borough’s children live in households in poverty, even before including the rising cost of basic essentials we all need to live."
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Lyn Brown parliamentary CV:
- Shadow Minister for Policing: October 2016 – May 2017
- Shadow Minister for Fire: September 2015 – June 2016
- Shadow Minister for Communities and Local Government: September 2013 – 2015
- Opposition Whip: May 2010 – September 2013
- Assistant Government Whip: June 2009 – May 2010
- Parliamentary Private Secretary:
- 2007 – 2009: to Rt Hon John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, University and Skills
- 2006 – 2007: to Phil Woolas MP, Minister of State at Department for Communities and Local Government
- Member of the Department of Communities and Local Government Select Committee: 2005 – 2006