Diane Abbott received 10 times as much abuse as any other female MP during election campaign

Amnesty has revealed the amount of abuse suffered by Diane Abbott in the first six months of this year

Diane Abbott received a huge amount of abuse in the lead-up to the election

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott received almost half of all the abusive tweets received by female MPs during the 2017 election campaign.

New figures released by Amnesty International also show that the long-standing Labour MP received 10 times as much abuse as any other female lawmaker in the six weeks preceding the vote.

The Amnesty report, authored by researcher Azmina Dhrodia, is based on analysis of over 900,000 messages sent to female MPs between January 1 and June 8.

Abbott received a total of 8,121 abusive tweets over the whole period surveyed, equating to over 31% of all the hateful messages. The second-most targeted female MP, the SNP’s Joanna Cherry, received 1,025 abusive messages, while Abbott’s shadow cabinet colleague Emily Thornberry received 1,021.

When the sample period was narrowed to include only the six weeks prior to the election, Abbott received 4,521 abusive tweets – 10 times more than the 458 received by Thornberry and 45% of all the vitriol sent to female MPs during this period.

Abbott told Amnesty she was  “not entirely surprised” but added that “sickening to see it in figures”.

“It’s highly racialised and it’s also gendered because people talk about rape and they talk about my physical appearance in a way they wouldn’t talk about a man,” she added. “I’m abused as a female politician and I’m abused as a black politician.”

The Amnesty report  also found that, even excluding Abbott, black and Asian women MPs received 35% more abuse than their white counterparts, and the abuse was non-party specific, affecting members of all political parties.