Belfast Telegraph

What you want me to regret? Labour's Diane Abbott pressed over pro-IRA comments

'The hair style is gone... some of those views have gone'

Diane Abbott - who could be in charge of home security should the Labour party win the forthcoming general election - has refused to say she regrets pro-IRA statements she made in the 1980s.

Speaking in 1984, Abbott said that Ireland “is our struggle - every defeat of the British state is a victory for all of us. A defeat in Northern Ireland would be a defeat indeed.”

The Shadow Home Secretary was interviewed on BBC One's Andrew Marr Show and asked whether she regretted her support for the IRA.

"That particular quote you're referring to comes from a now defunct left newspaper," The 63-year-old said.

"It was 34 years ago. I had a rather splendid afro at the time. I don't have the same hairstyle and I don't have the same views.

"It is 34 years on. The hairstyle has gone, and some of the views have gone."

Presenter Marr continued to press the outgoing London MP on if she would say she regretted the comments.

"We've all moved on in 34 years, haven't you Andrew?"

Asked again if she regretted what was said, she asked: "What specifically do you want me to regret?"

The comments come after Jeremy Corbyn denounced the IRA bombing campaign because it killed civilians.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd shot back at Ms Abbott’s comments, telling The Andrew Marr Show: “What I would say to Diane Abbott is I have changed my hairstyle a few times in 34 years as well, but I have not changed my view about how we keep the British public safe.”

Read more: IRA bombing campaign was completely wrong because it killed civilians – Corbyn

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