Support 100 years of independent journalism.

Theresa May and Sajid Javid praise Diane Abbott – but the Tory campaign attacked her

Hypocrisy dressed up as flattery.

By Media Mole

An odd thing has been happening at Conservative party conference. The Labour MP Diane Abbott is getting a lot of high-profile praise.

The Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Prime Minister Theresa May both used their official speeches to champion the shadow home secretary.

Javid spoke about Abbott as a role model and pioneer in UK politics. “People like Diane Abbott. Yes, Diane Abbott. We might disagree with the shadow Home Secretary on almost all her policies. But it takes guts and determination to become the first black woman to be elected to the House of Commons. And we should pay tribute to that.”

Similarly, May defended the politician in her leader’s speech:

“It’s not only Conservatives who are facing abuse. The first black woman ever to be elected to the House of Commons receives more racist and misogynist messages today than when she first stood over 30 years ago. You do not have to agree with a word Diane Abbott says to believe passionately in her right to say it, free from threats and abuse.”

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Lovely.

The only problem is, of course, that the Conservative party fanned the flames of that abuse by using Abbott as a target for their election campaign last year – running relentlessly negative messages about her on their campaign material.