Diane Abbott lifts lid on racist and sexist abuse after David Davis text storm

Posted On: 
15th February 2017

Diane Abbott has lifted the lid on some of the vile racist and sexist abuse she receives online - just days after she was subject to a sexism storm over texts sent by a Cabinet minister.

Diane Abbott warned that online abuse could deter young women from entering politics
Credit: 
PA Images

The Shadow Home Secretary said she frequently gets rape and death threats and warned that the abuse hurled at female MPs could put young women off entering politics.

Last week Brexit Secretary David Davis was forced to apologise after it emerged he had text a friend saying he had not tried to hug Ms Abbott because he is “not blind”.

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It followed a week of speculation and ridicule about how she might vote on the third reading of the Article 50 bill - since she called in sick to the second reading with a migraine.

In an article for the Guardian today Ms Abbott - a key ally of Jeremy Corbyn - said the week had been a “perfect storm” culminating in a “crescendo of blatantly racist and sexist abuse online”.

She noted the Tory councillor who was suspended for retweeting an image of her as an ape with lipstick, and condemned the “misogynist text exchange” between Mr Davis and his friend.

And she added that “even the young, fearless Diane Abbott” may have thought twice about entering politics if she could have foreseen some of the abuse hurled at her today.

She added: “Suppose that someone had told me back then that 30 years on I would be receiving stuff like this: ‘Pathetic useless fat black piece of sh*t Abbott. Just a piece of pig sh*t pond slime who should be f*cking hung (if they could find a tree big enough to take the fat bitch’s weight)’.”

And she went on: “This is not an isolated example. I receive racist and sexist abuse online on a daily basis.

“I have had rape threats, death threats, and am referred to routinely as a bitch and/or nigger, and am sent horrible images on Twitter.

“The death threats include an EDL-affiliated account with the tag ‘burn Diane Abbott’.”

She lamented that such online culture feeds into media coverage, adding: “This is an issue for all women in the public space.

“It is particularly an issue for those of us who would like to see more young women involved in political activity and debate in the wider society.”