“Diane has been at the forefront of anti-racism campaigns… lending her support to communities and families who have been victims of racist policing, school exclusions, deaths in custody, racist attacks, murders and the hostile environment policies.”Labour Black Socialists petition.
The Labour Party Black Socialists have published a petition entitled The Labour Party must restore the whip to Diane Abbott MP, which is reproduced in full below and can be found here.
“Diane Abbott is the Member of Parliament for Hackney North and Stoke Newington.
In April, Ms Abbott wrote a letter to the Observer newspaper which included comments about the racism experienced by Irish, Jewish, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities. Recognising the error of these remarks, she immediately withdrew them and issued an apology. In her statement, Ms Abbott said: “I wish to wholly and unreservedly withdraw my remarks and disassociate myself from them…..there is no excuse, and I wish to apologise for any anguish caused.”
Following her apology, the leadership of the Labour Party withdrew the whip from Ms Abbott, pending an investigation.
We are calling for the whip to be restored.
Why is this important?
Diane Abbott is Britain’s first Black female MP. Elected in 1987, she is the country’s longest-serving Black MP and has represented the Labour Party and her constituents for more than 36 years. In 2022, she was unanimously re-selected by members of her Constituency Labour Party.
This petition is important because Ms Abbott issued a clear and unreserved apology before the whip was withdrawn. Peter Herbert OBE, a retired judge and chair of the Society of Black Lawyers, has stated that the Leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer’s public declaration that what Ms Abbott wrote was antisemitic, directly undermines the impartiality and fairness of any investigation or its outcome. There is a distinct lack of transparency and consistency in the way the Party’s disciplinary rules are applied. At the same time, Martin Forde KC, the barrister who led an independent inquiry into allegations of bullying, racism and sexism within the Party, has remarked that the Labour leadership has not sufficiently engaged with the ongoing systemic issue of anti-Black racism that exists within the Party. Ms. Abbott has been a victim of this racism and continues to bravely speak out against it.
As a lifelong campaigner for equality and justice, Diane Abbott has been at the forefront of anti-racism campaigns, giving voice to the voiceless and lending her support to communities and families who have been victims of racist policing, school exclusions, deaths in custody, racist attacks, murders and the hostile environment policies of successive Tory governments. She has stood by so many of us, and now it is time for us to stand by her.
By signing this petition, you will be sending a message of solidarity to Diane. You will also be sending a clear message to Sir Keir Starmer MP, Alan Campbell MP (Chief Whip) and the Labour leadership that the whip must be restored.”