West Yorkshire Police investigating Frank Hester comments about Diane Abbott

West Yorkshire Police are investigating alleged racist comments made by Tory party donor Frank Hester about Diane Abbott at a meeting in 2019.

The force said it was working to establish whether a crime had been committed after the businessman allegedly said that Ms Abbott, Britain’s longest-serving black MP, made him “want to hate all black women” and that she “should be shot”.

The investigation was passed over from the Metropolitan Police as the meeting took place in Horsforth, Leeds.

A spokesperson said officers were now “working to establish the facts and to ultimately ascertain whether a crime has been committed”.

The force said: “We recognise the strong reaction to these allegations and appreciate everyone who has contacted us since the article was published.

“As we continue our inquiry, we are keen to hear from anyone who could directly assist our investigation.”

Any information can be reported through 101 or via the West Yorkshire Police website, using reference number 13240137018 or quoting “Operation Brassminster”.

Mr Hester has apologised for making “rude” comments about Ms Abbott, but claimed they had “nothing to do with her gender nor colour of skin”.

Rishi Sunak has been criticised for his handling of the fallout from the emergence of Mr Hester’s alleged comments.

Diane Abbott
Diane Abbott is Britain’s longest-serving black MP (Ian West/PA)

Mr Sunak has resisted previous calls to pay back Mr Hester’s money and argued that the healthcare tech entrepreneur’s “remorse should be accepted”.

Reports emerged last week that Mr Hester may have offered £5 million more, which has not yet been published by the Electoral Commission.

Ms Abbott has said “no Conservative has apologised” to her after the emergence of the remarks.

The veteran MP told Channel 4 News: “They keep saying that the Hester guy, he’s apologised. He’s not apologised. He’s apologised for being rude, whereas in fact he was racist, and he’s not apologised for that.

“In fact, he was inciting violence. He’s not apologised for that.”

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