Monday, May 27

Sir Keir Starmer ‘totally condemns’ Diane Abbott’s ‘antisemitic’ feedback

Labour chief Sir Keir Starmer has mentioned he “utterly condemns” feedback made by MP Diane Abbott through which she steered Jews, Irish individuals and travellers don’t face racism.

Ms Abbott, who has been a Labour MP for the reason that Nineteen Eighties, was yesterday suspended from the parliamentary get together pending an investigation into her remarks, which have been revealed in The Observer.

After being pressed 3 times, Mr Starmer mentioned on Monday he believed her remarks have been “antisemitic” and his get together was “absolutely right” to behave swiftly in response.

Ms Abbott has been criticised over a letter she wrote to the newspaper, in response to an article which had the headline: “Racism in Britain is not black and white. It’s far more complicated.”

The Hackney North MP mentioned she was responding to author Tomiwa Owolade’s claims that “Irish, Jewish and Traveller people all suffer from ‘racism'”.

“They undoubtedly experience prejudice,” Ms Abbott wrote.

“This is just like racism and the 2 phrases are sometimes used as if they’re interchangeable.

“It is true that many types of white people with points of difference, such as redheads, can experience this prejudice.

“But they don’t seem to be all their lives topic to racism.”

The former shadow dwelling secretary added: “In pre-civil rights America, Irish people, Jewish people and Travellers were not required to sit at the back of the bus.

“In apartheid South Africa, these teams have been allowed to vote. And on the top of slavery, there have been no white-seeming individuals manacled on the slave ships.”

Asked if what Ms Abbott wrote was antisemitic, Sir Keir told broadcasters: “What she wrote yesterday, I totally condemn.

“And I said we would tear out antisemitism by its roots. I meant it, and that’s why we acted so swiftly yesterday.

“I feel it is a mark of how far the Labour Party has modified that we acted so swiftly and we take it so severely. But I condemn what she mentioned.”

Pushed a second time on whether it was antisemitic, Sir Keir said: “I condemn what she mentioned.

“There’s an investigation going on now, but look, I don’t think anybody can doubt the change in the Labour Party when you see such swift action and an absolute commitment to zero tolerance.”

Pushed a 3rd time, the Labour chief mentioned: “In my view, what she said was to be condemned, it was antisemitic.

“It’s completely proper that we acted as swiftly as we did.”

Shortly after the letter was published, Ms Abbott issued a statement in which she said she wished to “wholly and unreservedly withdraw my remarks and disassociate myself from them”.

“The errors arose in an preliminary draft being despatched,” she wrote.

“But there isn’t any excuse, and I want to apologise for any anguish brought about.”

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