September 10, 2019
Diane Abbott has accused Lord Alan Sugar of harassing her online, alleging that he has a history of abusive behaviour towards her.
Diane Abbott Accuses Lord Sugar Of Harassment, Sparking Twitter Campaign
In a strongly worded statement on Twitter, the Hackney MP wrote: “this man repeatedly posts ‘disrespectful & offensive’ msgs & photos of me.”
“This is ‘targeted harassment’,” she added. “He has a history of ‘abusive’ tweets about me i.e. sexist poetry.”
Sugar has denied accusations of racism. “There is nothing racist in my criticism of Diane Abbot [sic],” he tweeted on Sunday. “I am entitled not to like her.”This man repeatedly posts "disrespectful & offensive" msgs & photos of me. This is "targetted harassment". He has a history of "abusive" tweets about me i.e. sexist poetry. I reported him to @twitter hoping they take all complaints seriously, no matter who the Twitter user is. pic.twitter.com/ueTwQoV6vl— Diane Abbott (@HackneyAbbott) September 9, 2019Abbott’s criticism of Sugar prompted an outpouring of online support for her, culminating in the #IStandWithDiane hashtag trending on Twitter on Monday evening into Tuesday morning. Users expressed solidarity with Abbott and called on the social media platform to take action against Sugar.Alan Sugar routinely tags Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott's @ into his abusive tweets, when he could just type their name. He knows that using the @ will bombard their notifications with harassment and abuse. He's a thug. Twitter should act. #IStandWithDiane— Nathaniel Bayard (@NathanielBayard) September 10, 2019Happy to see #IStandWithDiane trending.Diane Abbott receives some of the most abhorrent racism I've ever seen, which has been facilitated and encouraged by Tory MPs and then regurgitated by buoyant racists.She deserves better, and I'm happy to stand with her.— Chris #WeBackCorbyn (@Socialist_Chris) September 9, 2019Sugar, who had been one of the Labour party’s biggest donors while a member from 1997 to 2015, has been a frequent critic of the party.
Last April, he tweeted a poem expressing contempt for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, in which Abbott received an offensive mention.An ode to @jeremycorbyn . Will some of the labour MP's and Lords grow a pair and get him OUT pic.twitter.com/ETU8ojle3R— Lord Sugar (@Lord_Sugar) April 5, 2018A 2017 Amnesty International study found that Abbott – who is Britain’s first black, woman MP – received 45% of all abusive tweets sent to female MPs in the six weeks before election day that year, 10 times more abuse than any other woman MP.
Last July, Abbott detailed the abuse and intimidation she had been subjected to, saying: “I’ve had death threats. I’ve had people tweeting that I should be hung – if, quote, ‘they can find a tree big enough to take the fat bitch’s weight’.”
She added: “I’ve had rape threats, described as a ‘pathetic, useless, fat, black, piece of sh*t’, ‘ugly fat black bitch’, and ‘n****r’. N****r over and over again.”
In December, Abbott said that social media companies like Twitter must do more to combat abuse. “I never had this scale of abuse when I first came into politics and racism was an issue then as now,” she said, “but it’s the anonymity and the ease of Twitter which has put racists into overdrive.”
HuffPost UK has contacted both Diane Abbott and Alan Sugar’s offices for comment. We have also contacted Twitter for a statement. Related... Labour Split As Diane Abbott Confirms She Will Back Remain Diane Abbott Leads Backlash Over 'Offensive' Anti-Knife Messages In Chicken Shops
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