Statement on Rt Hon Diane Abbott MP and our commitment to anti-racism

Mayor of Hackney, Caroline Woodley, and interim Chief Executive, Hackney Council, Dawn Carter-McDonald, respond to racist comments made towards Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP, Rt Hon Diane Abbott MP: 

On Friday colleagues and residents assembled outside Hackney Town Hall to condemn the latest racist and misogynistic attack against Diane Abbott. 

Like all those who gathered we are appalled at the misogynoir aimed at Diane, who has been a Member of Parliament in Hackney since 1987, when she made trailblazing history as the first Black woman MP. The recently reported comments were unquestionably hateful towards Diane and all Black women. That the comments initially went unreported and unchallenged is deeply concerning. Nobody can deny Diane’s commitment to the borough and our residents, a fact which is demonstrated each time we meet with her, and neither she nor anyone else should have to receive such treatment.

Hackney Council has a proud tradition of standing against racism, misogyny and all other forms of discrimination and hatred. We are making every effort to ensure Hackney is an anti-racist borough.

Since the abhorrent remarks came to light, we have joined with Deputy Mayor Anntoinette Bramble in meeting with local charities and community partners to hear their concerns and to discuss how the Council and partners can come together to hear the voices of Black women. 

Today we are reaffirming Hackney's position in striving towards being an anti-racist Council. Our commitment to anti-racism and the work we have done, and continue to do, is documented on our website: https://hackney.gov.uk/our-anti-racism-commitment. Central to this is work carried out by Cllr Carole Williams, Cabinet Member for Employment, HR and Equalities, in delivering our Equalities Plan.

With Cllr Susan Fajana-Thomas OBE, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Regulatory Services, we are constantly looking to strengthen our work tackling violence and to broaden our community safety networks. Through regular Violence Against Women and Girls Board meetings with community partners we learn more from residents’ experiences, including where we need to focus the support we offer, embrace partnership and also hold partners to account. 

As a Council we will continue to do all we can to call out and stand against racism and all other forms of discrimination. We want to remind all residents that support is available, our residents are not alone, and there are ways in which we or the charities and organisations we support, can help. Hackney is no place for hate.

Mayor of Hackney, Caroline Woodley, and interim Chief Executive, Hackney Council, Dawn Carter-McDonald

If you are affected by hate crime or harassment, don’t suffer in silence.

If you experience hate crime you can: