Diane Abbott Refused a Chance to Respond to Racism Row 46 Times During PMQs

After facing racist and violent abuse from a Tory donor, Labour’s Diane Abbott was refused an opportunity to speak on the subject 46 times by Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle.

Speaker’s Decision Sparks Criticism

The Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, is now facing pressure for not choosing Diane Abbott to speak about racism after she stood up 46 times.

Diane Abbott, the UK’s first black woman to obtain a seat in the House of Commons has recently been the victim of racist and violent hatred from a Tory donor. Despite indicating her readiness to question Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs), Diane Abbott was not given the opportunity to speak by the Speaker.

A video has circulated online of Abbott standing up 46 times in the House of Commons, including attempts to speak about racism, although she was ignored each time.

SNP Leader Calls for Resignation

Stephen Flynn, leader of the SNP in Westminster, urged Sir Lindsay Hoyle to step down following his controversial decision not to allow Abbott to speak. 

Tory donor, Frank Hester, allegedly made comments in 2019 about Abbott’s skin colour and gender before inciting violence against the former Shadow Health Secretary. Diane Abbott filed a complaint with the Metropolitan Police over alleged remarks made by Conservative donor Frank Hester.

Hester told a number of individuals during a meeting in 2019 that seeing Abbott on TV made him “want to hate all black women” and that Abbott “should be shot.”

Hester’s Admission of “Rude” Comments

Hester has since acknowledged that he made the comments, admitting they were “rude” but insisted the remarks had nothing to do with her “gender or skin colour.”

Despite Hester’s admission that the comments were rude, he has not issued an apology like the Prime Minister, Communities Secretary Michael Gove and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt have all alleged.

Despite there being no evidence that Hester has apologised, members of the Tory Party, including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, have urged everyone to accept Hester’s “apology.”

Abbott’s Criticism

Diane Abbott condemned Sir Lindsay Hoyle’s decision, questioning whose interests he was serving and expressing dissatisfaction with the handling of the situation. Abbott wrote on social media, “I don’t know whose interests the Speaker thinks he is serving. But it is not the interests of the Commons or democracy.”

Frank Hester has donated £10 million towards the Tory Party in the last year with the Conservatives refusing to give the money back after the racism row despite concerns from Labour.

Labour MPs have insisted that the Conservatives return the money, which has so far been resisted by the Prime Minister, who said it would not be returned.

Labour MP Anneliese Dodds insisted that “Anything less than returning the money will be a stain on the Conservative party,” calling the comments “deeply disturbing.”

Tory Party Gives Trained Responses

When questioned about whether the Tory Party has a racism problem, the Prime Minister, Communities Secretary and Chancellor all had the same responses.

All three of the members, on separate occasions, spoke of the Conservatives having “the first British-Asian Prime Minister,” and being one of the most “diverse” parties in the “Western World.”

Diane Abbott questioned the example the party was setting for young, black and aspiring politicians who saw how long it took for the Party to condemn violent racist rhetoric.

“If he (the Prime Minister) was a little black child watching how it took his party 24 hours to say that insisting a black woman politician should be shot was racist, that that might make that young child think twice before entering politics altogether?” Abbott insisted.

After multiple allegations of racism within the Tory Party, including Lee Anderson, Suella Braverman, Frank Hester and now Speaker Lindsay Hoyle, the Prime Minister still refuses to accept there might be a racism problem.

The post Diane Abbott Refused a Chance to Respond to Racism Row 46 Times During PMQs first appeared on Pulse365.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sandor Szmutko.

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