June 28, 2020

Priti Patel says Labour MPs who accused her of gaslighting black people were being racist
Priti Patel has said Labour MPs who accused her of attempting to "gaslight" black people in her response to Black Lives Matter protests were "racist" in their views of her. Ms Patel clashed with a group of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) Labour MPs after they accused the Tory politician of using her Indian heritage to cast doubt on black communities' experience of racism in the UK. The Cabinet minister had previously told the 33 MPs who wrote to her that she would "not be silenced" by those suggesting she had used her own experiences of prejudice to "gaslight" the "very real racism" faced by black people. Gaslighting refers to the act of psychologically manipulating someone to doubt their own experiences. In fresh comments about the row, Ms Patel accused the opposition cohort of being "racist" in their perceptions of the views ethnic minority Women should espouse. Ms Patel, asked on Sky News' Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme whether her rivals had an issue with her, said she thought they did. "I think clearly in the case of those Labour MPs, they simply do primarily because they clearly take the stance or the position that I don't conform to their preconceived idea or stereotypical view of what an ethnic minority woman should stand for and represent," she said. "In my view, that in itself is racist. "It is very disappointing and I have made it quite clear I'm not going to dignify that letter any further." Shadow minister Naz Shah and other Labour MPs, including Diane Abbott, Tan Dhesi and Rosena Allin-Khan, were among those to question Ms Patel's attitude towards the Black Lives Matter protests. They said: "We write to you as black, Asian and ethnic minority Labour MPs to highlight our dismay at the way you used your heritage and experiences of racism to gaslight the very real racism faced by black people and communities across the UK. "Being a person of colour does not automatically make you an authority on all forms of racism."
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