#IStandwithDiane trends as supporters back MP

The shadow home secretary has accused Lord Alan Sugar of online harassment

TARGETED: Diane Abbott

DIANE ABBOTT’S supporters have come to her defence with an online campaign after she accused Lord Alan Sugar of online harassment.

The shadow home secretary, who is regularly subjected to abuse online, called out the businessman and Apprentice star on Twitter yesterday evening.

“This man repeatedly posts ‘disrespectful and offensive’ [messages] and photos of me. This is ‘targeted harassment’. He has a history of ‘abusive’ tweets about me i.e. sexist poetry. I reported him to @twitter hoping they take all complaints seriously, no matter who the twitter user is,” she wrote.

Abbott posted several screenshots of Sugar’s tweets alongside her own. In the compilation of tweets, Sugar refuted accusations that his criticism of the politician were rooted in racism and mocked her

While Sugar has made his dislike of Abbott very clear, her supporters have come together online to counter his criticisms and show solidarity for the Labour MP.

“Alan Sugar routinely tags Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott’s @ into his abusive tweets, when he could just type their name. He knows that using the @ will bombard their notifications with harassment and abuse. He’s a thug. Twitter should act. #IStandWithDiane,” Nathaniel Bayard wrote.

“#IStandWithDiane because she has tirelessly fought for a more equal society for over 30 years. She showed 100% support for the Grenfell survivors and the Windrush generation and she challenges racial bias in stop and search. A brilliant MP who needs to be home secretary,” another wrote.

#IStandWithDiane not just because she’s a legend, but because I know the attacks on her are intended to silence all womxn of colour,” Sonali Bhattacharyya said.

Last year a report by Amnesty International revealed that black women were disproportionately targeted by racist and abusive content on Twitter.

Responding to the findings at the time, Abbott said: “My staff still spend a considerable amount of time removing and blocking abusive or threatening posts from social media. Overwhelmingly the abuse is of a highly offensive racist and misogynist character.

“I have always felt that this type of hate speech can lead to violence, and Twitter has a responsibility to shut these accounts down a lot quicker then it currently does.”

In 2017, Amnesty International analysis of abusive tweets sent to female MPs in the six weeks ahead of the general election found that Abbott received 45 per cent of all abusive tweets.

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