Racist Comments Against Diane Abbott Spark Hurt Among Black Britons, Says Ex-Downing Street Adviser

Racist Comments Against Diane Abbott Spark Hurt Among Black Britons, Says Ex-Downing Street Adviser

LONDON, England – The revelation of derogatory remarks made against veteran MP Diane Abbott by a major Conservative Party donor has ignited a sense of hurt among Black Britons, according to a former senior adviser to Downing Street. Samuel Kasumu, who previously advised Boris Johnson on civil society and communities, expressed his reaction to the controversial comments made by Frank Hester, a prominent Tory donor.

The Guardian reported that during a meeting at his company, TPP, in 2019, Hester told colleagues that looking at Abbott makes him “want to hate all black women” and suggested that she “should be shot.” Abbott, Britain’s longest-serving Black MP, has stated that she feels “less safe” after learning about Hester’s remarks.

Kasumu, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today program, emphasized the historical significance of Diane Abbott as a Black British figure, saying, “As a Black Brit, Diane Abbott is someone who is very historically significant.” He added that he and other senior Black British Conservatives, including Kemi Badenoch and James Cleverly, would not have achieved their positions in politics without the groundwork laid by Abbott.

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“So it’s very important to note that every time Diane is attacked, we do feel it. We feel a sense of hurt because of her historical significance. She ran so that people like me could walk,” Kasumu said.

Abbott herself responded to a friend on X (formerly Twitter), expressing her distress and concern for her safety, writing, “I was quite upset. Also, I feel less safe. Anyway, I have come home for an early night. Thank you for getting in touch.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for Hester acknowledged that he was “rude about Diane Abbott in a private meeting several years ago,” but claimed that his criticism “had nothing to do with her gender nor colour of skin.” Hester’s lawyers, Carter-Ruck, also distanced the company from the comments, stating that they were not a true or accurate characterisation of TPP or Hester.

The incident has sparked criticism from opposition parties, with the Liberal Democrats’ chief whip, Wendy Chamberlain, accusing the Conservatives of refusing to return Hester’s donations despite his “inexcusable” comments.

As the controversy continues to unfold, it has reignited discussions about racism and the experiences of Black Britons in public life, with Kasumu’s remarks highlighting the symbolic importance of figures like Diane Abbott and the impact of such attacks on the broader Black community.

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