Diane Abbott has been slammed after saying migrants who drowned off Italy ‘indeed f—— off’ in a now-deleted tweet.
The Independent MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington tweeted “These migrants have indeed f—– off. At the bottom of the sea” as she shared a report on the disaster in the Mediterranean.
The message was a response to a comment by Lee Anderson, vice-chairman of the Conservative Party, who said earlier this week that asylum seekers complaining of being transferred to an accommodation barge should “return to France “.
Brendan Clarke-Smith, a former Tory cabinet minister, tweeted: “And to say that Sir Keir Starmer campaigned for this person to become our Home Secretary.
“We all know you can’t take Labor seriously on immigration or national security, but what a shame they also seek to exploit tragedies like this to advance their warped agenda. »
A Tory spokesperson said Ms Abbott’s tweet was “fake”. “The fact that she deleted it suggests she agrees with us,” they added.
An estimated 41 out of 45 migrants died after a boat capsized off Tunisia in rough seas. The metal boat left Sfax, Tunisia on August 3, but the ship was overturned by a huge wave hours into the journey.
The survivors were taken to the island of Lampedusa on Wednesday after a rescue operation.
“A new trough”
Ms Abbott’s tweet was not the first criticism she has leveled at the Tory Vice President for his comments. Ms Abbott, who was once a shadow home secretary, had previously described Mr Anderson’s comments as “a new low even for Tories”.
But ministers rallied around Ashfield MP Mr Anderson, with Justice Secretary Alex Chalk suggesting his ‘outrage’ was ‘well placed’ after just 15 migrants initially entered the accommodation barge from Bibby Stockholm.
Transferring the migrants to the ship has been mired in difficulties and delays due to security concerns, local opposition and legal challenges.
Ms Abbott had the Labor whip suspended in April for suggesting that Jews, Irish and Travelers are not subject to racism “all their lives” in a letter to the Observer newspaper.