Labour Demands Tory Donor Millions Are Returned

Labour MPs have demanded the Conservatives return the multi-million-pound donation from Frank Hester after it was revealed he made “racist and inciteful language” towards Labour MP Diane Abbott.

Labour Speaks Out

Members of the Labour Party have slammed the Conservatives for not responding to the racist comments made by one of the major Tory donors towards Labour MP Diane Abbott.

The Tory Party has been under fire recently for its response to allegations of Islamophobia within the Party, but now a multi-million-pound donor’s comments have added fuel to that fire.

Tory donor, Frank Hester, made a statement during a speech in 2019 that Diane Abbott made him “want to hate all black women,” before citing violent, racially aggravated behaviour.

Frank Hester stated that Diane Abbott, the first black woman to be a Member of Parliament, “should be shot” while she was Shadow Health Secretary under Jeremy Corbyn.

Labour Call For Donation Return

In response to the comments, members of the Labour Party have condemned the comments and demanded that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak act by returning his donations.

Frank Hester is one of the Tory Party’s biggest-ever donors, providing a total sum of £10 million to Sunak’s Conservative government this year alone due to Sunak’s AI plans.

Labour MP Anneliese Dodds has called the comments made by Hester “Deeply disturbing” before arguing that they should return the money regardless of whether they received it “in good faith.” Addressing the Conservatives in a letter, Dodds asserted that “it is only right that you and your party take these new revelations into account seriously.”

Dodds also implied that the large sum of money was now tainted, arguing that “Anything less than returning the money will be a stain on the Conservative party.”

Shadow Health Secretary Hits Out

Shadow Health Secretary, Will Streeting, hit out at the comments from Hester, labelling them “utterly revolting, racist and inciteful language” that “has no place in our politics and public life”.

Hester admitted to making “rude” comments about Abbott but stressed that these remarks were unrelated to her “gender or skin colour,” asserting that he was “deeply sorry.”

Tory Minister Disagrees With Returning Money

Despite Labour’s response, one Tory Minister insisted that returning the money may not be an option, regardless of whether the Tories agreed or disagreed with Hester’s comments.

Energy Minister Graham Stuart strongly condemned Hester’s reported remarks, labelling them “truly awful,” asserting that Hester was “right” to issue an apology but had issues with returning the money.

Stuart argued that regardless of how discriminatory the comments were, “We can’t cancel anybody from participation in public life or indeed donating to parties.” Stuart admitted that despite him not being in control of who is allowed to support the Conservatives, he urges those who support the Tories to be accepting of Rishi Sunak as the “first Hindu Prime Minister.”

Tory Party Under Fire

This is not the first allegation of racism that the Tory Party has faced in the last few weeks, as they suspended the Party’s former Deputy Chair Lee Anderson for his comments regarding the Mayor of London.

Anderson argued that the city of London and the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, had become under the “control” of “Islamists” who Anderson claimed were Khan’s “mates.”

Although Anderson was immediately suspended, Dodds claimed that the Party would have welcomed Anderson back if he apologized, which she condemned. Other Labour MPs, including Streeting, also condemned the comments from Anderson, labelling them as “Islamophobic” although many Tory MPs failed to agree.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak insists that the Party does not have a racism problem, although accepting money from a donor who cited violence against a black MP for the colour of her skin could be the nail in the coffin.

The post Labour Demands Tory Donor Millions Are Returned first appeared on Pulse365.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Marc Ayres.

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