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Thursday 14 March 2024

Press Release: In support of Diane Abbott


International Organisations condemn the incitement to racial hatred by the largest Tory party donor, Frank Hester, and the racist and Islamophobic comments by the former Tory Vice Chairman and M.P., Lee Anderson.



Press release embargoed: Thursday, March 14th, 2024 @ 9.01 am GMT


An international alliance of civil society organisations, and human rights activists have come together to condemn the actions of the Tory Donor, Frank Hester in the deliberate racist abuse of Diane Abbott M.P. This latest scandal comes in the wake of the equally racist and Islamophobic comments by Lee Anderson, the former Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party, who has now defected to the extremist Reform Party with comments directed at the Mayor of London, Saddique Khan.  The Conservative Party is itself guilty of fostering and promoting the same extremism it now seeks to condemn


The Governments definition of extremism that is exemplified by that words of both Hester and Anderson is now,

“vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.


SBL will be reporting both individuals to the Metropolitan Police and Mr Hester to Yorkshire Police to endorse the action by Ms Abbott.


Zita Holbourne of BARAC UK  commented


“Two Members of Parliament have been killed in recent years due to the corrosive effects of hate speech on political life, with none in more danger than Diane Abbott M.P. who has been threatened regularly on social media. The statements by Frank Hester are an absolute disgrace, with the dreadful silence from Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak and Government Ministers failure to condemn the racist abuse is a further level of abuse. One could only imagine the clamour for a prosecution if this had been a statement by a black member of Parliament against any white person in power and authority.”



Judge D Peter Herbert O.B.E. (Retired), Chair of the Society of Black Lawyers,


“The failure of the Prime Minister to condemn the words of the largest Tory donor was unacceptable. Either this is because he was sending out Ministers to minimise the seriousness of what had occurred. or alternatively he was more concerned to protect the perpetrator of this incitement to racial hatred to safeguard the £10 million contribution made by Hester to the Tory party. His silence makes him complicit to this appallingly dangerous abuse. If the word “Jewish women” had been substituted for the word “black women”, imagine the international calls for the Tory party to disown and prosecute Frank Hester. Sunak suggesting this can be ignored is complete hypocrisy from a Prime Minister who has no appreciation of the effects of racism on society.


Lee Jasper, former adviser to the Mayor of London commented,


“The targeting of Islamists and Saddique Khan by Lee Anderson and the venomous and racist attack on our longest serving Black Member of Parliament, Diane Abbott all come from the same racist Tory play book. Even the late recognition by Minister Kemi Badenoch sought to protect the Masters house by suggesting that threats to kill could be ignored as she suggested, “there needs to be space for forgiveness where there is contrition”. This must be the type of forgiveness that requires her to put out the racist fire in the Masters house where she and the Prime Minister underplay the seriousness of the threat to the life of a sitting M.P. who is already the most targeted for abuse and threats in Parliament. The Tory party has no moral qualms it seems from accepting funds from a known racist who has still denies the blatant racism of what he said.”


Mrs Yetunde Asika, Co-Chair of Bandung Africa, commented,


“We will not stand idly by and allow this blatant victimisation of Diane Abbott MP by the by Tory donor Frank Hester. She has been a fighter for justice and equality in our community, showing huge leadership qualities in the aftermath of  the Grenfell fire, and many other community injustices over the years. She has shown her commitment to racial justice both on the African Continent and in the diaspora. It should come as no surprise that this far right Tory donor links his abuse to her ethnicity, extends it to all black women and then pretends he is not a racist. He is happy to call for our longest serving black female member of Parliament to be shot and lie others assumes some half-hearted apology would suffice. This is the sort of donor the Tory party is happy to be funded by, not even Donald Trump is publicly funded directly by the KKK.


Lee Anderson’s racist xenophobic comments that,


“I want my country back…we are allowing people into our country that will never intergrate and adopt out British values” and alleging that Saddique Khan and London was controlled by “Islamists” has been roundly condemned as deeply offensive, and playing into some far right conspiracy playbook that echoes the way in which Jews were targeted in the 1930’s by alleging some sort of state control based on racial origin and religious faith. This racist politician conveniently forgets the hundreds of thousands who came to fight for the U.K. in two world wars, and gave their lives to up hold so called “British values”. In elevating “British Values” to some form of higher moral status he omits any reference to the exploitation, murder, torture, and oppression that constituted British actions and deplorable “values” regularly applied in the former British colonies from India to Kenya and the Caribbean.


We, the undersigned condemn the incitement to racial hatred against black women targeting a sitting Member of Parliament, and the gratuitous and extremist language deployed by the former Tory MP, Lee Anderson, who failed to offer any apology for his offensive and ridiculous assertion that London and its Mayor is controlled by Islamist extremists. The racist targeting of MP Diane Abbott is not capable of being met with any form of apology and we, the undersigned call upon the MPS and Yorkshire Police to take action in this case.


Rtd Judge D Peter Herbert O.B.E. , Chair SBL and Bandung Africa


PH signature

Mrs Yetunde Asika, Co-Chair Bandung Africa


  Co-Chair Bandung Africa



Bell Ribeiro-Addy, U.K. Member of Parliament

Claudia Webbe, U.K. Member of Parliament

Lee Jasper, Former Adviser on Policing to the Mayor of London,

Zita Holbourne, BARAC U.K.

Viv Ahmun, Director Blaksox,

Professor P.L.O. Lumumba, Kenya

Donald Deya, CEO of the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU)

Tim Okuwa, CEO, The Black Equity Organisation (U.K.)



For further information please contact:


Judge D Peter Herbert O.B.E. (Retired) +254 (0) 742 101 877

Viv Ahmun +44 (0)7985 395 166

Lee Jasper +44 (0)7984181797



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