The veteran journalist challenged the shadow home secretary after a backtrack from Jeremy Corbyn’s party, who now say they support the policy after three deadly terror attacks in as many months in the United Kingdom.
Mr Corbyn, who in the past has called Islamic terror groups and the IRA “friends” and opposed every piece of anti-terror legislation, attempted to rebrand himself as strong on security during a speech less than 24 hours after the London Bridge attack, where three terrorists were shot dead after killing seven people and injuring at least 48 more.
Discussing the policy switch on Channel 4 News, Snow suggested Mr Corbyn and his close ally Ms Abbott had jumped through “an extraordinary pain barrier” to make their party more electable in the build up to Thursday’s General Election.
The journalist said: “Diane Abbott, let’s just be quite clear about this. You and Jeremy Corbyn appear to have been on a journey, you started out on this campaign more or less anti-Trident – although tolerating its continued development – and you’ve now passed through an extraordinary pain barrier which has you backing shoot-to-kill and, indeed, calling for more armed police!
Diane Abbott was grilled over Labour's apparent U-turn on 'shoot-to-kill'
You've passed through a pain barrier which has you backing shoot-to-kill and more armed police
“This is not the old Labour shadow home secretary we knew of old…”
Ms Abbott, who had previously been criticised for not offering interviews in the wake of the attack, claimed it had always been Labour Party policy to allow the police to use “maximum force where peoples’ lives are threatened”.
The shadow home secretary said: “I am here on the fields of City Hall, having just attended the vigil. It was a very moving occasion and I think the people of this country and the people of London want to give their support and sympathy to the injured and sadly to the tragic victims.
“On the question of my position, or the Labour Party’s, on shoot-to-kill, it has always been the position that we believe the police can use maximum force where peoples’ lives are threatened.
“There is no question on Saturday night in Borough Market that peoples’ lives were threatened – of course, you had to use maximum force.”
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
The apparent U-turn comes as Mr Corbyn, after decades of refusing to support tough measures against terrorism, he pledged in a speech to take “whatever action is necessary and effect” to preserve public safety.
He sought to end earlier controversies over his lack of support for police use of 'shoot-to-kill' tactics against armed attackers.
London terror raids Sun, June 4, 2017
Police have raided a block of flats in Barking in connection with last night's London Bridge terror attack.
Play slideshow Getty Images 1 of 20
As police continue their investigations following the June 3 terror attacks, a block of flats in Barking is raided for possible suspects
Mr Corbyn claimed he backed the “full authority for the police to used whatever force is necessary to protect and save life as they did last night, as they did in Westminster in March”.
In 2015, the Labour leader had previously said he was “not happy with the shoot-to-kill policy”, adding: “I think that it is quite dangerous and I think it often be counterproductive.”
In 2011, he said: “I’ve been involved in opposing anti-terror legislation ever since I went into Parliament in 1983.”