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SENIOR Labour HQ staff were accused of misogyny and racism today after spiteful comments about their left-wing colleagues and female MPs were exposed in a leaked internal report.
In a WhatsApp group, they mocked Hackney North MP Diane Abbott for crying in the toilets.
Fiona Stanton, then a senior regional director, suggested telling journalist Michael Crick of Ms Abbott’s whereabouts before then executive director for elections Patrick Heneghan replied: “Already have.”
The report says that then acting head of press Neil Fleming “engaged in what could be considered a classic racist trope” by calling Ms Abbott an “angry woman,” while his colleague Greg Cook called her “repulsive.”
Then Labour general secretary Iain McNicol, Mr Heneghan, and Mr McNicol’s office manager Tracey Allen mocked Ms Abbott and insinuated that she had faked illness towards the end of the 2017 general election campaign.
The report also noted suggestions that shadow women & equalities secretary Dawn Butler’s claims of racism within the party were untrue.
Following the leak, migrant-rights campaigner Maya Goodfellow said that the levels of racism and sexism by Labour MPs’ own colleagues are “appalling.”
Hackney Council cabinet member Jon Burke said: “The absolutely relentless character assassination of Diane Abbott from all sides sends the strongest message possible that ‘if you have the gall to be a passionate, high-achieving black woman in this country, we will go to the furthest lengths possible to destroy you’.”
The report notes other “mocking” and “lewd” comments about women in the party.
In March 2017, then Parliamentary Labour Party secretary Sarah Mulholland said that a political adviser was “wearing a see-through flesh-coloured skin-tight top and no bra.”
During the 2017 general election, senior staffer Emilie Oldknow made a similar disparaging remark about Mr Corbyn’s staff member Laura Murray.
Then general secretary’s office director Julie Lawrence called Mr Corbyn’s chief of staff Karie Murphy “crazy” and said that her face “would make a good dartboard,” while Mr Heneghan called her a “bitch face cow.”
Ms Oldknow called Ms Murphy “fat” and Mr Corbyn’s political secretary Katy Clark “a smelly cow.”
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