Diane Abbott’s letter was ‘deeply wrong, historically wrong, and offensive’, says shadow minister

Diane Abbott has had the Labour whip suspended pending an investigation after the MP wrote a letter suggesting Jewish individuals are not subjected to the identical racism as another minorities.

Ms Abbott, the previous shadow residence secretary underneath Jeremy Corbyn, apologised over the feedback and stated the letter revealed in The Observer had been an “preliminary draft” despatched by mistake.

Ms Abbott’s letter said that Jewish, Irish and traveller communities have skilled “prejudice”, however added: “That is much like racism and the 2 phrases are sometimes used as if they’re interchangeable.”

A spokesperson for Labour stated yesterday: “The Labour social gathering utterly condemns these feedback that are deeply offensive and incorrect.


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“The chief whip has suspended the Labour whip from Diane Abbott pending an investigation”.

It implies that Diane Abbott will now sit within the Commons as an unbiased MP till the Labour social gathering decides in any other case.

Chatting with Sky Information this morning, Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Pat McFadden labelled Ms Abbott’s letter “deeply incorrect, traditionally incorrect, and offensive”.

Mr McFadden stated: “I can’t put myself in her thoughts, I can solely categorical a view on what she wrote, which was incorrect, and it’s indeniable that Jewish individuals, for instance, have suffered horrible racism, each in historical past, and it’s nonetheless occurring right this moment.

“So, the chief whip and the social gathering chief had no selection however to take the motion they did yesterday.”

He added: “I believe on the subject of the terrible historical past of racism, one factor we shouldn’t do is attempt to set up a hierarchy or recommend that one group’s expertise counts greater than others.”

Mr McFadden stated that Sir Keir Starmer is “decided to show the web page on the tradition that had are available to the Labour Occasion underneath the earlier management. He’s deeply real about making that change.”

He stated that he was “certain” that Ms Abbott’s apology is real, however wouldn’t touch upon whether or not Ms Abbott ought to stand down on the subsequent election, saying: “It’s not for me to resolve who needs to be a candidate, however it’s for me to say what I believe the Labour Occasion ought to stand for”.

He continued: “My view is that the views in her letter had been deeply incorrect, traditionally incorrect, they had been offensive to individuals, and the Labour Occasion has to face for treating everyone with human dignity, no matter race or creed.

“That’s a lesson we should always have realized a very long time in the past, and it’s definitely one we should always study right this moment”.

Ms Abbott’s quick letter, which remains to be on-line, provoked a livid response on social media on Sunday morning earlier than the Labour MP issued an apology.

“I want to wholly and unreservedly withdraw my remarks and disassociate myself from them”, stated the Labour MP in an announcement on Sunday morning. “The errors arose in an preliminary draft being despatched. However there is no such thing as a excuse, and I want to apologise for any anguish brought about”.

Ms Abbott added: “Racism takes many kinds, and it’s utterly simple that Jewish individuals have suffered its monstrous results, as have Irish individuals, Travellers and lots of others. As soon as once more, I wish to apologise publicly for the remarks and any misery brought about because of them.”

The federal government’s unbiased advisor on antisemitism, Lord John Mann, has this morning referred to as on Ms Abbott to face down on the subsequent basic election, describing her feedback as “past the pale”.

“My overwhelming emotion is one in every of unhappiness. I’ve been round Westminster for 30 years, and in that point, the one who’s had the worst racism directed in opposition to them is Diane Abbott.”

“I believe the apology ought to have been clearer. Folks have been offended. And the place’s this coming from? I do not know the place she’s coming from on this. It’s fairly appalling, and I believe we’re seeing a tragic finish to what has been fairly a outstanding political profession”, he stated.