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Dianne Abbott clashes on the ‘This Week’ show

Published 27/6/10

The only female Labour Party leadership contender Diane Abbot has been involved in a heated exchange with interviewer Andrew Neil.

As a guest on the late night political show ‘This Week’ Diane Abbott was accused of being a ‘racist’ by Andre Neil, a claim she vehemently denied.

Abbot who is widely regarded to be on the left of the Labour Party was challenged in the BBC2 show to explain her comments that ‘West Indian mums will go to the wall for their children’. Neil wanted to know if she meant that white mums did not love their children as much as black mums.

This led to a mildly heated exchange between the two, with Michael Portillo watching, all three are regulars on the late night show.

In early June she secured the required 33 nominations from fellow Labour MP’s to be able to put her name forward for the Labour leadership. Due to this she is now under much greater scrutiny than ever before from political commentators and other candidates.

Ms Abbott who is the sitting MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, is 57 years old and a single mother. In 1987 she became the UK’s first black woman to be elected as a MP.

She is a regular pundit on political programmes on TV and radio, where she gives strong performances that have done much to raise her profile. As a left winger she is a regular target for much of the right wing UK press.

She has courted controversy in the past, for instance in 2003 when it was revealed that she sent her son to a private school. Despite controversies like these she still remains popular with a sizeable section of the Labour party grass roots.

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