In her first interview since taking a break from politics, Diane Abbott has told the Guardian that type 2 diabetes, the condition she was diagnosed with two years ago, affected her performance on broadcast media in the run-up to the General Election.
Abbott, who was at the time shadow home secretary, said: “During the election campaign, everything went crazy – and the diabetes was out of control, the blood sugar was out of control”.
The MP, who has represented Hackney North and Stoke Newington since 1987, said she felt she was personally targeted by the Conservative party as part of their campaign.
She claims the Tories ran “the most vicious and negative general election” campaign and believes that she “was part of Lynton Crosby’s grid”.
Crosby was also the strategist behind the Conservatives’ election campaign of two years ago.
Abbott was also saddened that the prime minister, Theresa May, as a fellow female MP, would oversee such nasty and personalised attacks: “The Tories need to explain why they singled me out”, she said.
The Labour veteran had a tough time in the run-up to the poll.
She struggled to answer questions in an LBC interview on the cost of boosting police numbers, and stumbled on Sky News when interviewed about London’s preparedness for a terror attack.
She also pulled out of a London Evening Standard hustings event, and an appearance on BBC’s Woman’s Hour.
Type 2 diabetes is a long-term condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high.
It can be controlled by taking medication to reduce glucose to normal levels and also by making lifestyle and dietary changes.
Just 48 hours before polling day, the Labour party said Abbott was taking a period of sick leave and would be replaced “indefinitely” by Lyn Brown.
Theresa May revealed in 2013 that she had type 1 diabetes.
More than three million people suffer from type 1 and and type 2 diabetes in the UK./ 14 June, 2017