#DianeAbbott called ‘ape’ by Tory, assaulted by Tory. Where’s outrage from Harman and co? | The SKWAWKBOX

Diane Abbott [Image: Getty Images].

Skwawkbox follows up on coverage of David Davis’s unwanted attention towards Diane Abbott (This Site’s article is here) with a timely query about the amount of outrage shown by prominent female Labour MPs, including former deputy leader Harriet Harman: None.

Ms Harman has received considerable coverage in the mainstream media recently for her claim that she was sexually assaulted by three people – a claim that – for many women – will undoubtedly seem conservative but that some commentators seem to find incredible.

Why is it, then, that she has failed to speak out about this incident? Are some assaults more offensive than others?

There have been many messages of support from social media users, and of condemnation of the Tories involved, along with a very good New Statesman article by Stephen Bush.

What there has not been, as far as this author can tell, is any support or outrage in some quarters of the Labour Party from which it should most be expected.

Former interim Labour leader Harriet Harman has spent a lot of time on our TV screens over the past week, promoting her new book A Woman’s Work – including telling us what a great Labour leader she’d have made.

The first ever minister for women and a former Secretary of State for women and equality, Ms Harman is considered a prominent campaigner on behalf of women’s rights and equality, so of course she would be quick to jump into the fray on Ms Abbott’s behalf, right?

Wrong. Ms Harman’s Twitter feed is active, for that of a busy politician. She found plenty of time for tweets to promote her new book. She found time to tweet in praise of Jess Phillips, a Labour MP and Chair of the Women’s Parliamentary Labour Party, who infamously bragged about telling Ms Abbott to ‘f*ck off’ and laughed as Abbott was mocked by a TV impressionist.

But a message of support and solidarity with a mistreated female colleague, or to condemn the racism of Councillor Pearmain or the misogyny of David Davis?


Let alone a mention in one of her many, self-promoting media appearances. Odd, for someone who thinks she’d have made a great leader.

Ms Harman is not alone in this curious silence. Read the Twitter feeds of any of the women MPs who were lightning quick to sound off in support of Angela Eagle when she supposedly suffered abuse (which was later shown to have been confected) and you’ll struggle to find a mention of what happened to Diane Abbott, let alone any messages of support.

Source: #DianeAbbott called ‘ape’ by Tory, assaulted by Tory. Where’s outrage from Harman and co? | The SKWAWKBOX

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8 thoughts on “#DianeAbbott called ‘ape’ by Tory, assaulted by Tory. Where’s outrage from Harman and co? | The SKWAWKBOX

  1. Christine Cullen

    Diane Abbott has said and done some very controversial things in her time, we shouldn’t forget that; but that doesn’t warrant being singled out for no support in the face of racism and unwanted kisses! Has JC said anything about all this yet? Let alone Harriet Harman or another Labour MP with plenty to say for herself, Jess Phillips.

    The H of C has always been a bit of a bear pit, but the politics of the last 12 months seem to have emboldened the closet racists and sexists there as well as outside, and also shone a light on those who fail to support victims, having hypocritically claimed to be champions of the oppressed.

  2. Giri Arulampalam

    Calling anybody “an ape” is unacceptable behaviour(especially in 21st century Britain). It is simply “school playground bullying” practiced in politics.Our UK does not need this type of politics.I am not a fan of Ms Abbott,but this type of politics is wrong & unprofesssional.

  3. Roy Beiley

    Suits them to bang on about gender abuse when they choose to. Hypocritical and shameful. It is such lapses in their programme for making sure that no women should be harassed or mocked that shows that they are really petty and selective in who they choose to support. Diane Abbott is strong enough to take this course I expect but the silence from her Labour colleagues is spiteful and rather sad.

  4. jeffrey davies

    ah well we all know this shes a down right blairite speaking out for one whose not a greedie mp isnt done by them

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Occam’s razor. In explaining a thing, no more assumptions should be made than necessary.
      I certainly would not have considered your explanation as it demands that we accept that this word was a truncation of another, and there is no reason to do so.

  5. Haystacks

    Diane is one of the most loyal members of the Labour party and its despicable that not one of the Mps in the party have made any comment this is clear racism and should be reported to the Police.

Comments are closed.