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Major Tory donor Frank Hester apologises to Diane Abbott over ‘reprehensible’ and ‘revolting’ comments | Politics News

A high-profile Tory donor has mentioned he’s “deeply sorry” following studies he mentioned former Labour MP Diane Abbott made him “want to hate all black women”.

Frank Hester, the eminent govt of The Phoenix Partnership, which donated £10m to the Tories endmost age, additionally reportedly mentioned Ms Abbott, who remains suspended from the parliamentary Labour Party, “should be shot”.

In a submit on X, a spokesperson for Mr Hester admitted he had made “rude” feedback about Ms Abbott, which have been first reported via The Parent, however mentioned that they had “nothing to do with her gender nor colour of skin”.

Labour and the Unselfish Democrats have referred to as at the Tories to go back the cash Mr Hester has donated to the birthday celebration following the feedback, which have been branded “reprehensible”.

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The observation mentioned: “Frank Hester accepts that he was rude about Diane Abbot in a private meeting several years ago but his criticism had nothing to do with her gender nor colour of skin.

“The Parent is correct when it quotes Frank announcing he abhors racism, now not least as a result of he skilled it as the kid of Irish immigrants within the Seventies.”

It added: “He rang Diane Abbott two times these days to attempt to apologise immediately for the harm he has led to her, and is deeply sorry for his remarks.

“He wishes to make it clear that he regards racism as a poison which has no place in public life.”

Electoral Fee data display Mr Hester donated £10m to the Tories endmost age, together with a £5m donation to Rishi Sunak that got here from him individually and every other £5m that got here from his healthcare tool company in November.

In line with The Parent, Mr Hester made the remarks about Ms Abbott in 2019 all through a gathering at his Leeds corporate headquarters.

He reportedly mentioned: “It’s like trying not to be racist but you see Diane Abbott on the TV, and you’re just like… you just want to hate all black women because she’s there.

“And I don’t dislike all dark girls in any respect, however I believe she will have to be shot.”

Anneliese Dodds, the chair of the Labour Party, said: “Those feedback are reprehensible.

“Frank Hester is the Conservative Party’s biggest ever donor, as well as a personal donor to the prime minister, it is therefore vital that Rishi Sunak and the Tories return his donations, in full without delay.

“Rishi Sunak has claimed that ‘phrases subject’, and he should know that retaining directly to that cash would recommend the Conservatives condone those worrying feedback. Sunak should go back each and every penny.”

The Lib Dem chief whip Wendy Chamberlain urged Mr Sunak to rule out “any presen peerage” for Mr Hester.

And talking within the Commons, Wes Streeting, Labour’s shade condition secretary, mentioned Mr Hester had old “utterly revolting, racist and inciteful language” and referred to as at the top minister to apologise to Ms Abbott.

A Conservative spokeswoman mentioned: “Mr Hester has made clear that while he was rude, his criticism had nothing to do with her gender nor the colour of her skin.

“He has since apologised.”

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Ms Abbott, who was first elected as the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington in 1987, had the Labour whip withdrawn last April after she suggested in The Observer that Jewish, Irish and Traveller people are not subject to racism “all their lives”.

Ms Abbott, who sits as an detached within the Commons, is looking forward to the end result of an detached court cases procedure arrange via Labour to research her remarks.

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