Diane Abbott gets standing ovation at Labour conference after abuse suffered during the election

Delegates at Labour’s annual conference also sang Happy Birthday to the Shadow Home Secretary during the speech

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Wednesday 27 September 2017 13:20
Labour conference: Diane Abbott receives a standing ovation and is sung 'Happy Birthday'

Diane Abbott received a standing ovation during Jeremy Corbyn’s keynote speech to the Labour conference as the leader recalled the “misogynist and racist abuse” aimed at her during the general election campaign.

Delegates gathered at Labour’s annual conference in Brighton also broke into a chorus of Happy Birthday for the Shadow Home Secretary, who has turned 64.

The Labour leader paid tribute to Ms Abbott, his long-time friend and one of his closest allies in Westminster, after Amnesty International research revealed that she had received almost half of all the abusive tweets sent to female MPs during the bitter election campaign.

The campaign by the Tories and the media had been “nasty and personal and it fuelled abuse online”,Mr Corbyn said said, highlighting the vitriol aimed at Ms Abbott.

Mr Corbyn continued: “There can never, ever be any excuse for any abuse of anybody by anybody.

“We are not having it, not tolerating it, not accepting it and not allowing it.”

Earlier this month the Shadow Home Secretary said she was “not entirely surprised” that she was the main target, adding: “It’s highly radicalised and it’s also gendered because people talk about rape and they about my physical appearance in a way they wouldn’t talk about a man.

“I’m abused as a female politician and I’m abuse as a black politician.”

Mr Corbyn also used his conference speech to hit out at his media critics, highlighting how “one paper devoted 14 pages to attacking the Labour Party”.

“Never have so many trees died in vain, the British people saw right through it,” he said.

“So this is a message to the Daily Mail's editor: next time, please make it 28 pages.”

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