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Diane Abbott reveals she turned down Strictly Come Dancing

Diane Abbott reveals she turned down Strictly Come Dancing
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Former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott reveals that she turned down an approach to appear on Strictly Come Dancing.

Former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott has revealed that she has rejected an approach to appear on Strictly Come Dancing.

The 66-year-old - Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington since 1987 - found herself with more time on her hands after being stood down from the shadow cabinet in the wake of Labour's heavy defeat at the 2019 general election.

The BBC has now announced the lineup for this year's Strictly, with Abbott's former parliamentary colleague Jacqui Smith on board alongside the likes of boxer Nicola Adams and comedian Bill Bailey.

"I have [been asked] and I turned them down," Abbott told Sophy Ridge On Sunday on Sky News. "I couldn't possibly do it. I think Jacqui's very brave.

"You'll be surprised to know, I'm not someone with natural rhythm, and I didn't want it exposed to millions of television viewers."

In the same interview, Abbott appeared to suffer a slip of the tongue when she referred to new Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer as "Steer Calmer".

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Jacqui Smith in June 2009
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