RACISM and threats of violence against Black women has been condemned at a council meeting in Reading in light of Tory party donor Frank Hester’s comments about Diane Abbott.

The 58-year-old healthcare entrepreneur allegedly said Ms Abbott should be “shot”.

Speaking about Ms Abbott in 2019 during a meeting at his Leeds company headquarters, he said: “It’s like trying not to be racist but you see Diane Abbott on the TV, and you’re just like… you just want to hate all black women because she’s there.

“And I don’t hate all black women at all, but I think she should be shot.”

His comments were the subject of discussion at a recent Reading Borough Council meeting where deputy lead councillor Liz Terry (Labour, Coley) put forward a motion.

Cllr Terry said: “This Council supports the widespread condemnation of the racist and misogynistic statements made about Diane Abbott and all Black women.”

The reference to shooting an MP has left all women in public life vulnerable to both verbal and physical attack.

“Given the murders of two MPs in recent years this is an abhorrent attack on all people in public life but particularly Black Women.

“Racism, discrimination, and misogyny should not be tolerated in our society. We need more Black women and people from Black, Asian, and other minority communities in public life.

“This council stand in solidarity with all Black women in public service, particularly the three Black women Reading Borough Councillors and will continue to speak out against racism and discrimination as it impacts our communities, people, and society.”

The motion was seconded by cllr Wendy Griffith (Labour, Battle), who has served on the council since 2022.

She said: “It’s shaken all of us, it’s shook me, and scared me.

“Every Black female councillor, Black female MP every Black woman in public service in the UK is scared and angered by this.

“There are layers to this. There is what was said, which is disgusting, no other words, and a donor to the party government – shameful.

“There was how the House of Commons responded to it. Dianne Abbott’s voice was the only one I wanted to hear then, and she stood 46 times in 35 minutes and was denied.

“What utter disrespect for a serving MP for 37 consecutive years, I stand for her.

“And then there is how this poisonous language has been drip fed into our political spaces and normalised into our society’s language by the current government.

“I don’t want to be afraid to carry out my duties because of the words  of someone with this much hate.”

Following the allegation, Mr Hester apologised to Ms Abbott on X/Twitter stating the comments were ‘rude’ and had “nothing to do with her gender nor colour of skin”.

Meanwhile, Cllr Alice Mpofu-Coles (Labour, Whitley) said: “You become numb to racism.

“The micro-agression, invalidation and stereotypes of the ‘angry Black woman’ picked up on every tiny thing you do, you do, you say you write.

“Not welcome in spaces, your intellect is not even good enough. Your hair, your body, your clothes everything is scrutinised.

“It’s exhausting and it’s traumatic.”

Cllr Ama Asare said she has ‘always admired’ Ms Abbott, and that she was eight years old when Ms Abbott was first elected in 1987.

She said: “Diane has been a trailblazer as a Black MP and her guidance pathed the path for other Black women including myself to engage and feel included in politics.

“This incident has reignited grief, negative past experiences, fear about how we might get treated, fear of a lack of support and allyship and many more.

“We need to continue to protest against the rise of racism and hatred and unite against all forms of racism.”

The motion was passed unanimously at the full council meeting on Tuesday, March 19.