Diane Abbott pulls out of Woman’s Hour General Election debate

Labour's shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry has replaced her colleague at short notice after Labour told the BBC Abbott had been "taken ill"

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Emily Thornberry has replaced Diane Abboat the last minute to represent the Labour Party in the Woman’s Hour Election debate on BBC Radio 4, after Labour told the BBC that the shadow home secretary had been taken ill.

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 The news was released on Twitter shortly after the show was scheduled to start at 9am this morning.

The rest of the panel includes Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Jo Swinson for the Lib Dems, UKIP MEP Margot Parker and Kirsty Parker for the SNP, who will debate each other on questions posed by the show’s listeners in an extended edition of the programme ahead of the General Election on Thursday. 

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Labour told the BBC that shadow home secretary Abbott had been “taken ill”, although some commentators pointed to the fact that the news comes following her interview with Sky News’ Dermot Murnaghan in which she struggled to answer questions about a recent report into London’s terror preparedness.