Diane Abbott stood up to talk on race row 46 times in 35 minutes – but was ignored

UK

Diane Abbott has criticised Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle over his failure to call her during Prime Minister’s Questions when it was dominated by a row over comments a Tory donor allegedly made about her.

The former Labour MP, who tried to speak during today’s debate but was not called, posted on X: “I don’t know whose interests the Speaker thinks he is serving. But it is not the interests of the Commons or democracy.”

The MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington was in the Commons chamber as Rishi Sunak, Sir Keir Starmer, and Stephen Flynn, the SNP’s Westminster leader, debated the row involving the comments Frank Hester is reported to have made about her.

However, despite rising in her seat and trying to catch the Speaker’s eye throughout the session, Ms Abbott was not invited to speak.

A number of MPs have raised the incident, with Labour MP Stella Creasy writing on X at the time: “Right now Diane Abbott is standing to ask a question in prime minister’s questions. As her safety is debated by others. Something very wrong if her voice isn’t heard today…”

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Rosie Duffield, the Labour MP for Canterbury, said it was “extremely uncomfortable to witness” and added: “While others were speaking about her, Diane Abbott was not selected to speak herself, why?”

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