Good Morning Britain host Susanna Reid apologises after Diane Abbott uses N-word on live TV

'People listening to these abusive terms will be upset, especially as you’ve received them directly but we cannot broadcast them at this time of the morning,' host tells shadow home secretary

Jack Shepherd,Harry Cockburn
Thursday 14 September 2017 10:00
Diane Abbott describes online abuse on GMB: "It's people calling you a n***** b****"

Diane Abbott used the N-word on live television on Thursday to reveal the extent of the racist abuse she receives.

Appearing on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, the shadow home secretary told host Susanna Reid the online abuse she received went far beyond political criticisms and was “really quite frightening”.

She said: “When I say abuse, it's not people saying ‘I disagree with you about nationalising the railways'.

“It’s people calling me a n***** b****, threatening acid attacks, it's rape, it's death threats.

“It’s upsetting for me but it’s also very upsetting for my staff who have to deal with it.”

The programme is broadcast live, and Reid quickly stepped in to say such language cannot be broadcast in the morning.

She said: “People listening to these abusive terms will be upset, especially as you’ve received them directly but we cannot broadcast them at this time of the morning.

Ms Abbott was discussing a study which revealed that she had suffered a relentless campaign of racist abuse in the build up to this year’s general election.

The survey of abusive tweets, conducted by Amnesty International, found that Ms Abbott had been the victim of 10 times as much abuse as any other MP, with 45 per cent of all abusive tweets directed at her in the six weeks before election day.

The survey did not include deleted tweets, or those from suspended accounts, meaning the true extent of the abuse could have been even greater.

“It gets to you personally,” Ms Abbott told Good Morning Britain.

“I think I’m quite robust, I’ve been in politics for years, and you know, I’m used to the hurly burly. But it’s very undermining, it’s very humiliating and it gets so you almost don’t want to go online in the morning.”

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“When we found out we were getting half of these abusive tweets, it was really quite frightening,” she added.

As noted by The Sun and The Express, some viewers were shocked by the statements made by Abbott, which came before the watershed time, being broadcast at 7.20am.

However, many viewers pointed out that the outrage should not be aimed towards the MP but those who use the abusive language against her.

GMB host Pierce Morgan tweeted: “I’ve had my differences with Abbott but attacking her for using a word she is routinely attacked with is ridiculous.”

The Amnesty International survey that detailed the volume of abuse Abbott received during the election was published earlier this month.

It also revealed that she received just under a third of all abuse aimed at female MPs during the six months before the general election.

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