Caribbean Labour Solidarity takes action

It was reported in the press, radio, television and on social media that Frank Hester, a business person and significant Conservative Party donor, had made the most derogatory remarks about Diane Abbott MP.

Diane is of Jamaican descent; one of the most senior Members of Parliament and one of the first four black and Asian MPs elected to Parliament in 1987, a historical event in UK politics. Her length of service to her constituents and the people of the United Kingdom has resulted in her increasing her majority in every election since first becoming an MP.

Caribbean Labour Solidarity has taken action in defence and support of her.

Hester’s remark are not only derogatory to her, women in genera and black women in particular but to all non-White persons world wide. He is quoted as saying: –

“…you just want to hate all black women because she’s there…”

It was also reported that he also stated at a 2019 meeting of his company, The Phoenix Partnership, that he wishes for her to be shot. This comment was made subsequent to the 2016 shooting dead of Jo Cox, MP for Batley and Spen, by a Neo-Nazi white supremacist.

We are outraged by these remarks; their effect on Ms Abbott and the fear that it creates for non-white persons in the UK and beyond. We ask ourselves how is it that Enoch Powell MP could be dismissed from the Conservative Party in 1968 due to his controversial “Rivers of Blood” speech, with the party leadership, led by the Prime Minister Edward Heath, declaring Powell’s remarks to be inflammatory and divisive. Now the same party not only excuses and tolerates Hester’s donations but states that they welcome his continued funding.

Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, who is of Asian descent, was roundly criticised for his failure to take action against Hester, with Judge Herbert OBE, Chair of the Society of Black Lawyers stating: –

“The failure of the Prime Minister to condemn the words of the largest Tory donor was unacceptable…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.”

Political discourse has degenerated so much that Kemi Badenoch, a senior Conservative Minister of Nigerian Descent has dismissed Frank Hester’s comments as “trivia”.

CLS do not consider this incendiary statement to be “trivia” but has written to a number of bodies calling on them to take action in support of Diane and against Hester. We have also conveyed our support to Diane and call on you to do the same. Hester has been written to, via his company, to ask whether her denies uttering these phrases. We understand that up to the present there has been no response from Hester or his company.

The correspondence to the organisations we have written to can be found via the links below. We will keep you posted on the progress we make with these correspondence.

and How to report a hate crime…