Iain Quizzed Diane Abbott About Her Track Record And She Wasn't Happy About It

27 May 2017, 10:55

Diane Abbott was not best pleased to be quizzed about previous comments and her voting record.

Labour's Diane Abbott spoke to Iain Dale for the first time since her car crash LBC interview with Nick Ferrari.

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The shadow Home Secretary spoke to Iain Dale about the shift in the focus of the election following the Manchester bomb attack. 

The LBC Presenter wanted to get her take on whether it's right that security has become the biggest election issue, and pressed her on her own voting record, and that of key Labour figures. 

He first asked about Corbyn: "That's simply not true that he never met the IRA is it?"

Diane Abbott replied: "He met with Sinn Fein."

Iain said: "He met also, I've got a list here of meetings that he had, with the IRA. Why wouldn't he admit that to Andrew Neil?"

Diane replied: "Because I think that his understanding is, he met with them in a capacity as activists in Sinn Fein."

Iain asked: "But he met with people who have been jailed for bombings. In 2000, he shared a platform with Brendan McKenna at an event commemorating Bloody Sunday. 

"McKenna was jailed for his role in bombing the British Legion hall in Portadown.

"In 2005, he shared a platform with Raymond McCartney, McCartney was a member of the IRA. I could go on, I've got a lot of these things here.

"That was a deliberate...lie wasn't it? Because he has met the IRA."

Ms Abbott responded: "I think we have to distinguish from being on a platform with people and conducting private meetings."

Iain said: "How could you possibly do that? I would not appear on a platform with anybody convicted of terror offences. Would you?"

Diane replied: "I haven't knowingly done it."  

Iain said: "Jeremy Corbyn clearly has, that's the point." 

Diane repeated: "I think we have to distinguish between conducting private meetings and supporting violent attacks and actually being on a platform."

The conversation soon moved to the topic of Islam extremism. 

Iain asked the prospective MP: "In the year 2001, you voted against prescribing Al Qaeda as a terrorist group, why did you do that?"

Diane replied: "I voted against a whole series of, it wasn't just Al Qaeda, it was loads of prescriptions, because there was a concern, not just my concern, but a number of MPs' concern, that we had to be careful before making a whole series of groups illegal.

"Because some of them...we didn't think it was reasonable for some of them. Al Qaeda is one thing, but it was a list of groups that were involved in that particular piece of legislation."

She added: "I don't think it helps the debate to try and imply that in some sense, Jeremy, John McDonnell, or myself, support violent terrorism atrocities."

Iain pointed out that politicians should be held to account for their voting record.

The LBC Presenter continued: "You said in 1984, regarding the IRA and Ireland 'every defeat of the British state is a victory for all of us'.

"I mean a lot of people will think 'how on earth can somebody who is about to maybe about to become Home Secretary, say those kind of words'?

"Now it was a long time ago, OK, but...what does it indicate?"

Watch the clip above to see what she had to say.

You can watch the full interview below.

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