EXCL Diane Abbott under fire from Tory MP over Theresa May meme 'smear'
Diane Abbott has been accused of “smearing” Theresa May after tweeting an image suggesting the Prime Minister wanted to “curb lesbianism”.
The Shadow Home Secretary published the image at 8am this morning, although it was deleted shortly afterwards.
It shows a quote purportedly from Mrs May’s time as a councillor in south London, talking about “curbing the promotion of lesbianism in Merton’s schools”.
Although the meme has been circulated widely on social media there is no evidence of the Tory leader having ever used those words.
Conservative MP James Cleverly hit out at Ms Abbott over the post.
“Diane is a senior and high-profile member of Parliament,” the Braintree MP told PoliticsHome.
“She should really check the facts before circulating smears like this.”
PoliticsHome understands that the tweet was posted by a member of Ms Abbott’s team before the mistake was quickly rectified.
MAY’S GAY RIGHTS RECORD
In a week marking the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality, Mrs May’s record on gay rights has come under scrutiny once more.
In 1998 she opposed reducing the age of consent for gay people from 18 to 16, and in 2002 she voted against letting gay couples adopt children.
Earlier this week Vice magazine also published excerpts from a 2001 interview in which Mrs May said parents “want the comfort of knowing Section 28 is there” – a reference to a now defunct rule banning the “promotion of homosexuality” in schools.