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”.
This woman is a Racist and should be taken to task for using the N word on live tv Disgusting
— llamados (@dgoodey18) September 14, 2017
Showed her own ignorance by using the words N***** and B**** on live tv in front of any kids watching
— Graham Emery (@emeryg139) September 14, 2017
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”.
— Angela Rayner MP (@AngelaRayner) September 14, 2017
When people are more offended by Diane Abbott repeating racist abuse aimed at her than the actual racist abuse. pic.twitter.com/o3rfEsRfan
— Luke Sillett (@Luke_Sillett) September 14, 2017
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.”