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Diane Abbott in race row

UNDER FIRE: MP Diane Abbot's tweets caused controversy

LABOUR MP Diane Abbott is facing calls to resign following claims she made racist comments on Twitter.

The MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington came under fire when she posted a message in response to a fellow user who questioned the "generally lazy thinking" behind the use of term 'black community'.

Twitter member Bim Adewunmi initially tweeted: "Clarifying my 'black community' tweet: I hate the generally lazy thinking behind the use of the term. Same for 'black community leaders.''"

Abbott hit back, writing: "I understand the cultural point you are making. But you are playing into a "divide and rule" agenda.

Adewuni then responded: "Maybe. I find it frustrating that half the time, these leaders are out of touch with black people they purport to represent."

To which Abbott replied: "White people love playing "divide & rule" We should not play their game #tacticasoldascolonialism [sic]".

Her controversial response outraged a number of Twitter users, which included fellow MPs.

Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi, wrote: "A healthy society should not tolerate any form of racism. DAbbott should apologise and resign or EdM must sack her."

"Diane Abbott must resign, her racist comments are unacceptable in 2012 Britain, Come on Milliband kick her out of the Labour Party, [sic]" wrote Twitter user @thewatcher.

Following the public outcry, Abbott, the first black woman to be elected MP, has removed the tweets claiming they were "taken out of context."

"Tweet taken out of context. Refers to nature of 19th century European colonialism. Bit much to get into 140 characters, [sic]" she wrote.

The Labour Party has since released a statement distancing themselves from Abbott's tweets. 

"We disagree with Diane’s tweet. It is wrong to make sweeping generalisations about any race, creed, or culture," they said.

"The Labour Party has always campaigned against such behaviour – and so has Diane Abbott," the statement continued. 

We have contacted Diane Abbott's press office and await a response.

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