Diane Abbott: Five key questions that remain unanswered

1. Why now?
2. Just how serious is this?
3. Why isn’t she stepping down as an election candidate?
4. Will she be reinstated when she returns?
5. How can Labour appoint such a low-profile figure to a top cabinet post on the eve of the election?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Like everyone else, we're still digesting the news that Diane Abbott has been replaced as shadow home secretary, at the 59th minute and 59th second of the 11th hour.

Just a day before polls open for the general election, Labour have announced that Abbott has stepped down and been replaced by Lyn Brown. The party says she has a serious health problem.

Earlier today, Abbott's shadow cabinet colleague Barry Gardiner said the illness was a "long-term condition" in an interview with Julia Hartley-Brewer. But he was unable to reveal what the illness was, or who had told him.

Abbott has since said she'll "return to the fray soon" despite her illness.

Naturally, this dramatic announcement leaves all kinds of questions unanswered. Here are the five that stick out most of all.

See the gallery above.