Diane Abbott takes aim at Tories, Labour AND Lindsay Hoyle as she rages at 'shocking levels of racism and sexism' against her

Abbott has hit out at Sunak and Starmer​

Abbott has hit out at Sunak and Starmer

George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 14/03/2024

- 08:18

Updated: 14/03/2024

- 08:47

The former Shadow Home Secretary has hit back in the wake of alleged comments made by Tory donor Frank Hester

Diane Abbott has slammed the Conservative Party, Labour, and Speaker Lindsay Hoyle in the wake of the Tory donor scandal.

The MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington and former Shadow Home Secretary has railed at what she calls "shocking levels of racism and sexism".

It comes after Tory donor Frank Hester allegedly said Abbott made him "want to hate all Black women" and that she should be "shot".

Both Sir Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak clashed over the issue at PMQs on Wednesday. Abbot, who now sits as an independent MP, accused both parties of racism.

\u200bDiane Abbott

Diane Abbott has slammed both main parties


Writing in The Independent, she said: "The position of the current leadership of the Labour Party is disappointing, which seemed equally reluctant at the outset to call out either racism or sexism.

"Instead, the entire focus was on the demand that the Tories give Hester back his money, which is surely not the primary point in this case."

Abbot, Britain’s longest-serving Black MP, described Hester's words as "outrageously racist and sexist" adding: "I am afraid long-term experience teaches me that the Tory party has long been a source of whipping up racism in this country, including directed at me personally."

Abbott, who was a Labour MP for more than three decades until she was suspended last year, said her former party had initially failed to label Hester's alleged comments against her as racist and sexist.

She also criticised the House of Commons Speaker for failing to let her ask a question to the Prime Minister in PMQs yesterday.


\u200bFrank Hester

Frank Hester made the alleged comments about Diane Abbott


Abbott accused speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle of failing to act in the "interests of the Commons or democracy" after she was not called to speak on the issue at PMQs.

A spokesperson for Sir Lindsay said he had to prioritise MPs listed on the order paper and "there was not enough time to call all members who wanted to ask a question."

There has been split over the issue in the Conservative Party with Scottish Conservatives the criticised the decision to accept Hester’s money and called for a review.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Tories said: "These comments were racist and wrong. The Scottish Conservative Party has never accepted a donation from Frank Hester and the UK Conservative Party should carefully review the donations it has received from Hester in response to his remarks."

Meanwhile, Conservative mayor for the West Midlands Andy Street told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that if he had received a donation from Hester: "I would think about the company I kept and I would give that money back."

Former Conservative Party chair Chris Patten said it was an "open and shut case" that the party should pay the £10m donation back to Hester.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said that Sunak was "acutely aware" of the abuse that Abbott has suffered over the course of her career.

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