MP's brother: police were racist

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The Independent Online

The brother of the Labour MP Diane Abbott has complained to police, claiming he was treated as a suspect simply because he was black.

Hugh Abbott, 52, said police questioned him for an hour after thieves took his £40,000 Mercedes, his phone, wallet and watch.

He was interrogated about his financial situation, accused of drink-driving and warned about making fraudulent claims and wasting police time.

The civil engineer, from Stone, Buckinghamshire, said: "Being a black male driving around in your car, you accept [being stopped by police]. But it is galling, distressing and anger-making when there's a real issue."

Mr Abbott was returning from a conference when he saw a Citroë* car drive into a ditch in Thame, Oxfordshire. He stopped to help and offered three men in the car a lift. He agreed to take them to Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire but, once inside, they forced him to drive to Harrow instead.

After a 40-minute journey, one man pulled out a gun and held it to Mr Abbott's neck. He was forced out of the car and another of the gang took his £5,000 watch before they drove off.

Mr Abbott then ran to the nearest house to call police. Ten minutes later, three officers arrived. He said: "As far as they were concerned, they don't see many black men driving around in Mercedes cars, so they treated me like a criminal instead of a victim."

Fingerprints found in the Citroë* led to the arrest of two of the gang. Last week, one was jailed for four years and a second was acquitted.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed it was investigating Mr Abbott's complaint.