Diane Abbott was the most abused female MP of the General Election

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Diane Abbott received almost half of all abusive tweets sent to female MPs ahead of the General Election, research has revealed.

The Shadow Home Secretary received a relentless campaign of racist and sexist abuse in the weeks before the election on June 8.

Amnesty International researchers found she received 45 per cent of all abusive messages on Twitter sent to female MPs in the six weeks before the poll date.

Of the 140,000 tweets mentioning the Labour MP’s Twitter handle, one in 20 were classified as abusive, according to the data.

And during the sixth months her tweets were monitored, she received more abuse than all female Conservative and SNP parties combined.

The report, authored by Amnesty technology and human rights researcher Azmina Dhrodia, analysed a sample of 900,223 tweets between January 1 and June 8.

Diane Abbott: The Shadow Home Secretary received a relentless campaign of abuse during the election campaign (PA)

Black and Asian female MPs received 35 per cent more abusive tweets than their white colleagues, even when Ms Abbott was excluded from the search results, the research showed.

One the abuse she received, Ms Abbott said: “I welcome scrutiny, and I welcome engagement, and I welcome debate. That’s why I was so positive about these online platforms. 

“But the problem is when people are not engaging in debate or scrutiny but just showering you with abuse — [saying] that you are a n*****, that you are a prostitute, threats against your safety. 

“It’s just abuse which has no political content and which actually people wouldn’t say in a meeting or to your face. I think the distinction between abuse and genuine political debate is, would they say it if they met you in the street? No, they wouldn’t.”

Ms Abbott, who stood aside temporarily during the election for health reasons, said it was “sickening to see it in figures”.

Her shadow cabinet colleagues Emily Thornberry and Angela Rayner were among other MPs who received a high volume of abuse,

In the six weeks prior to the snap election Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, and the SNP’s Joanna Cherry were also in the top five targeted for abuse.

Asian women received the most abuse per MP, despite making up just under nine per cent of female MPs in Parliament, receiving an average of 132 abusive tweets per MP – 30 per cent higher than white women.


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