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After attack on Diane Abbott—stamp out racism

Frank Hester—the Tories' biggest donor in the last year said Abbott "should be shot"
Issue 2896
Diane Abbott MP speaking at a Justice for Chris Kaba rally in September 2022 (Picture: Steve Eason)

Diane Abbott MP speaking at a Justice for Chris Kaba rally in September 2022 (Picture: Steve Eason)

The Tories’ biggest ever donor said that looking at Diane Abbott makes you “want to hate all black women”.

Frank Hester—who donated £10 million to the Conservative Party in the last year and donates to Rishi Sunak personally—said in 2019 that Abbott “should be shot”.
 
Hester, the founder and chief executive of  The Phoenix Partnership (TPP), claims the comments have been distorted and taken out of context.
 
The Tories, through the NHS and other government bodies, have given TPP more than £400 million since 2016 to look after 60 million medical records.
 
It has government contracts worth more than £135 million. Labour, who suspended Abbott last April, called on Sunak to return Hester’s donations.
 
Vile racism from a top Tory should come as no surprise, however abhorrently it manifests. But attacks on Abbott have been paved by Labour.
 
In 2022 the Forde report found “overt and underlying racism and sexism” towards Abbott and other black MPs and “expression of visceral disgust, drawing on racist tropes”.
 
The delayed report looked into factionalism against Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and allegations of bullying, racism and sexism within Labour. 
 
Abbott, the first black woman elected to the Commons, demanded an apology from Keir Starmer for the racism she faced.
 
Yet Starmer ignored her—and the report’s 165 recommendations. Fighting against racism—both from the Tories and Labour—has to be a priority for everyone on the left.

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