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Diane Abbott (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Diane Abbott (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

‘A perfect storm’

Politician sent death and rape threats after claims that Brexit secretary tried to kiss her

By WITW Staff on February 15, 2017

British Labor shadow home secretary Diane Abbott says she’s had to endure a “perfect storm” of racist and sexist abuse in the wake of claims that she told Brexit Secretary David Davis to “F*ck off” after he allegedly attempted to kiss her in a House of Commons bar. Complicating the matter further was a leak of text messages from Davis’ phone — in which the Brexit secretary denied kissing Abbott by asserting that he wasn’t “blind.”

“I receive racist and sexist abuse online on a daily basis,” Abbott, and MP, wrote in an essay for The Guardian. “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.”

Not all the threats and insults are anonymous — just last week, a Tory councilor was suspended after retweeting an image of Abbott as “an ape with lipstick.”

Abbott added that many women, in politics or otherwise, refrain from drawing attention to such incidents because of the public abuse it can elicit.

“Other women look at how those of us in the public space are treated and think twice about speaking up publicly, let alone getting involved in political activity,” Abbot noted. “Who needs their intelligence, motivation and personal appearance to be savaged in the tabloids and online? Better to stay silent or say whatever the men are saying.”

Read the full story at The Telegraph.


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