Calling for more new homes: Diane Abbott MP

Diane Abbott

Hackney MP Diane Abbott has been criticised on social media for saying ‘nigger bitch’ on live TV – while talking about the racist abuse she suffers.

A study by human rights charity Amnesty International revealed that nearly half of all tweets sent to Abbott in the six weeks leading up to this year’s General Election were abusive.

Researchers found Abbott received almost half of all the abusive messages detected in the build-up to the vote.

Commenting on the findings in an interview on Good Morning Britain earlier today, Abbott said: “When we discovered that we were getting half of the abusive tweets, it was really quite frightening.

“And when I say abuse, it’s not people saying, you know, ‘I disagree with you about nationalising the railway’, it’s people calling you a nigger bitch, it’s people threatening acid attacks, it’s rape, it’s death threats.

“It’s upsetting for me but it’s also upsetting for my staff who have to see all this.”

Presenter Susanna Reid immediately apologised to viewers before telling Abbott: “People listening to those abusive terms will also be offended. You’ve received them directly – we can’t broadcast them, obviously, at this time in the morning.”

The incident sparked uproar on social media, with some venting their fury at the Labour frontbencher, as well as the programme-makers.

Twitter user llamados called Abbott’s use of the phrase “disgusting”, while another said using it on live TV “in front of any kids watching” showed her “ignorance”.

But others were quick to defend her, including fellow Labour MP Angela Rayner, who said anyone offended by Abbott repeating the abuse “should consider how she feels getting it everyday”.

Luke Sillett responded with a picture, captioned with the words: “When people are more offended by Diane Abbott repeating racist abuse aimed at her than the actual racist abuse.”

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