Keir Starmer condemns 'appalling racist abuse' suffered by Labour MP Dawn Butler

Imogen Braddick
·3-min read

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has condemned the "appalling racist abuse" suffered by an MP who has had bricks thrown through the windows of her constituency office.

Dawn Butler made the decision to shut the office earlier this week after threats against her and staff "dramatically escalated".

The Labour MP said staff have been attacked inside her small office in Willesden, north west London, and bricks have been hurled through the windows.

Sir Keir has condemned the abuse and said racism "has no place in our society".

"I have spoken to @DawnButlerBrent to offer the Labour Party’s full support and solidarity," he said on Twitter.

"The racist abuse that Dawn and her staff have suffered is appalling.

"Dawn’s voice is vital. The racism that our Black MPs face has no place in our society."

The Brent Central MP said in a letter to constituents that "continual security risk" as well as spiralling rent costs forced her to abandon the office, which opened in 2015.

"I continue to receive on an almost daily basis threats of violence and death threats," the former shadow women’s and equalities minister wrote.

Threats against Dawn Butler and her staff have escalated, she said (PA)
Threats against Dawn Butler and her staff have escalated, she said (PA)

"My staff have been attacked in the office, verbally assaulted coming and going from work, bricks have been thrown through the windows and the frontage has been smashed.

"I have had to work extensively with police and security staff to simply try and create a safe working environment for my employees.

"Many of these incidents were not made public in order to not encourage copycat attacks."

She said police have arrested one person in connection with the threats and are "currently pursuing others".

Last month Ms Butler went to police after speaking out over the torrent of violent and racist abuse she has received for defending the Black Lives Matter protests.

Ms Butler stressed that she is “dealing with more constituency cases than ever before” and will hold surgeries in the local civic centre, Willesden Library, Harlesden Library and other venues around Brent Central when it is safe.

Scotland Yard confirmed that its parliamentary liaison and investigation team, which was set up after the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox by a far-right extremist, was investigating an allegation made on June 7 of malicious communications.

The force said no arrests in relation to that allegation had been made but that enquiries continued.

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