Diane Abbott has spoken publicly about her struggle to maintain her performance during the recent General Election because of the effects her Type 2 diabetes had on her.
The Labour MP, 63, appeared in some difficulty in interviews during the campaign, and was replaced as shadow home secretary as a result.
“During the election campaign, everything went crazy – and the diabetes was out of control, the blood sugar was out of control,” she told The Guardian.
“It is a condition you can manage. I am doing that now and I feel ready to get back to work.”
The newly re-elected Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes two years ago. It was made public following her shadow cabinet replacement by Lyn Brown.
Abbott was heavily criticised and attacked by the Conservatives after she struggled to recall figures for her party’s police funding plans midway through an LBC radio show. She also had difficulties discussing policy details during a Sky interview.
Telling the Guardian she always had a “great memory for figures” before the illness, she said: “The Tories need to explain why they singled me out. It felt terrible, it felt awful – you felt you were in a kind of vortex – as I became aware of what was happening – the Facebook ads, the Tories name-dropping me for no reason.”
Prime Minister Theresa May also recently spoke of how she copes with Type One diabetes, admitting she injects insulin “five times a day”.
“You just get into a routine,” she said during an internet Q&A in May. “You depend on that insulin and you just build that routine into your daily life. The crucial thing to me is being a diabetic doesn’t stop you from doing anything.”