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Outbursts of racism in Great Britain: Labor MP withdraws seat

Outbursts of racism in Great Britain: Labor MP withdraws seat

After a year, Labor MP Abbott's suspension has been lifted. It is not yet clear whether he will be allowed to contest the parliamentary elections.

As a Member of Parliament, Diane Abbott made a name for herself in the fight against apartheid and racism. Photo: Beresford Hodge/Reuters

London taz | “I was the only black student in high school,” Diane Abbott once said of herself, and in her history studies at Cambridge University, in her early career at the Home Office, as a reporter and press officer, she was one of the few. . She became the first black woman in the House of Commons when she was elected for Labor in 1987, representing the East London constituency of Hackney North and Stoke Newington. As a Member of Parliament, the daughter of Jamaican parents, born in London in 1957, made a name for herself as an anti-racist and anti-apartheid activist.

Abbott was criticized for controversial statements 13 months ago. The trigger was a letter to a Sunday newspaper in April 2023 the observer, in which he said that red-haired people, Irish people, Jews and Travelers experience prejudice but that they do not have to experience racism for the rest of their lives. These groups did not have to sit in the back of a bus in America, were able to vote in apartheid South Africa and did not have to live in fear of being enslaved on ships, he wrote.

Jewish Labor MP Margaret Hodge described the words at the time as “deeply offensive”. Abbott was subsequently suspended from the party. The politician later apologized and distanced himself from the statements.

Abbott only regained her seat as a Labor MP on Tuesday evening, but it is uncertain whether she will also stand as a candidate for her seat in the July 4 general election. According to Starmer, no decision has been made yet. A nomination must be confirmed by June 4.

Abbott's political career was marked by ups and downs: for 26 years he kept his party colleagues on the back row of parliamentary committees. It was only in 2010 that Ed Miliband invited him to the Shadow Cabinet, where he was responsible for public health. Under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, Abbott was also promoted to shadow home secretary. In 2017, the Labor MP enjoyed the sad record of being the British politician with the highest number of hateful messages on Twitter. In March, she insulted Frank Hester, one of the Tories' biggest party donors: “Diane Abbott makes you hate all black women.”

Anti-labour problem

Abbott also faced head-butting allegations of anti-Semitism within Labour. During that time he loyally defended the party and Corbyn. Instead of dealing with the allegations, he preferred to emphasize Labour's history of fighting racism and anti-Semitism. Through his constituency, the politician had a lot of contact with ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Stamford Hills. In fact, he is said to have done a lot for these communities at the local level. The then representative of the Orthodox communities, Rabbi Abraham Pinter, criticized him for his stance on accusations of anti-Semitism. The 2020 Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) inquiry report finally confirmed that Labor had problems with anti-Semitism. New Labor leader Keir Starmer has promised to take action against it.

When asked about running for the general election, Abbott declared bellicosely on Wednesday evening: He will try to represent his constituency by any means possible.