Diane Abbott
Jeremy Corbyn ally sparked another row among the parliamentary party after Newsnight appearanceGetty

Diane Abbott has been accused of "selling out" after she attempted to defend Jeremy Corbyn over his controversial reshuffle. The shadow development secretary claimed the Labour leader's critics were bitter because Corbyn had bought "new energy" to the top of party.

"When you look at some of the other people, if you look at Jonathan Reynolds, if you look at Mr Dugher, if you look at some of these others, what do they have in common? They're all former special advisers," Abbott told BBC's Newsnight show on 6 January.

But the comments triggered further infighting after Reynolds, who had resigned as shadow transport minister over Corbyn's decision to sack Pat McFadden, hit back at Abbott on Twitter.

The Stalybridge and Hyde MP explained he was a trainee solicitor when first elected in 2010 (although he failed to mention his former job as political assistant to former Labour cabinet minister and now BBC executive James Purnell) and alleged Abbott was a "total sell-out" for sending her son to the £10,000 ($14,585)-a-year City of London School.

The Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP faced further hypocrisy claims over her past as press officer for the Greater London Council under Ken Livingstone and as head of PR for Lambeth Council in the late 1980s.

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