White people 'divide and rule'? Don't be a fool, Miliband tells Abbott
The Labour frontbencher Diane Abbott was forced into an embarrassing apology yesterday after being accused of racism for claiming that "white people love playing divide and rule".
The storm followed a Twitter exchange between Ms Abbott and a journalist, which was prompted by the convictions of two men for the murder of Stephen Lawrence.
Moments after insisting her remarks had been taken out of context, she was ordered by her party to backtrack. Asked on live television to explain what she meant, she broke off mid-sentence to take a call from the Labour leader, above.
The shadow Public Health Minister then said: "I understand people have interpreted my comments as making generalisations about white people. I apologise for any offence caused."
She was also warned by Ed Miliband that she would be sacked if she repeated such sentiments.
The controversy began after the journalist Bim Adewunmi said she objected over the way the media used the phrase "black community" as a generalisation. Ms Abbott responded: "I understand the cultural point you are making. But you are playing into a 'divide and rule' agenda." She added: "White people love playing 'divide & rule'. We should not play their game."
Nadhim Zahawi, the Tory MP for Stratford-on-Avon, said: "If this was a white Member of Parliament saying, 'All black people want to do bad things to us,' they would have resigned within the hour or been sacked."
- 1 Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
- 2 McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
- 3 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 4 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 5 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
Putin accuses US of causing global instability
Eleven members of same family hospitalised after eating deadly pufferfish
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
Phone-hacking: The Piers Morgan connection - Mirror admits some stories during Morgan's tenure may have been obtained by illegal means
Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
Poppy Appeal 2014: This is why I won't be wearing a red poppy this year
£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...