No 10 manufacturers Frank Hester’s Diane Abbott feedback ‘racist and mistaken’ | Politics | News | EUROtoday

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A Tory donor’s feedback about Diane Abbott had been “racist and wrong”, Downing Street has declared. Frank Hester, who has donated £10million to the Conservatives, mentioned the MP made him wish to “hate all black women”.

Mr Hester apologised for making “rude” feedback however mentioned his remarks “had nothing to do with her gender nor colour of skin”. But the Prime Minister’s official spokesman mentioned: “The comments allegedly made by Frank Hester were racist and wrong. He has now rightly apologised for the offence caused and where remorse is shown it should be accepted.

“The Prime Minister is obvious there is no such thing as a place for racism in public life and because the first British-Asian Prime Minister main some of the ethnically various Cabinets in our historical past, the UK resides proof of that reality.”

Opponents criticised the Tories’ reluctance to describe Mr Hester’s reported remarks as racist and urged the governing party to hand back the money he and his company have donated.

But Cabinet minister Kemi Badenoch then broke ranks with No 10 to describe the comments as “racist”. However, she welcomed his apology and called for “area for forgiveness”.

She said: “Hester’s 2019 comments, as reported, were racist. I welcome his apology. Abbott and I disagree on a lot. But the idea of linking criticism of her, to being a black woman is appalling.

“It’s never acceptable to conflate someone’s views with the colour of their skin.”

Health minister Maria Caulfield told the BBC she considered the comments to be racist and that she would not accept a donation from Mr Hester “if he made those comments”.

Ms Abbott, who is currently suspended from sitting as a Labour MP, said the comments were “scary”.

She said: “I stay in Hackney and don’t drive, so I discover myself, at weekends, popping on a bus and even strolling locations greater than most MPs. I’m a single lady and that makes me weak anyway.

“But to hear someone talking like this is worrying… The fact that two MPs have been murdered in recent years makes talk like this all the more alarming.

“I am currently not a member of the Parliamentary Labour Party but remain a member of the Labour Party itself, so I am hoping for public support from Keir Starmer.”