Corbyn slammed by Atkins over 'astonishing' question

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MPs have been debating racism on social media following vile racist attacks on three England footballers who missed penalties at the Euro2020 final against Italy on Sunday. Bukaya Saka, 19, Jadon Sancho, 21 and Marcus Rashford, 23, faced a torrent of abuse after the penalty shoot-out which resulted in England losing. The police are now investigating the abuse as pressure ramps up on social media companies to do more to tackle racism. But during the MP’s debate, former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called on the Government to take faster action to tackle racism, but his demands were met with cries of hypocrisy due to Mr Corbyn being at the centre of a slow response to rampant anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

Mr Corbyn said: “Isn’t the issue that the government has refused to take any action towards ending social media discrimination of any kind.

“This in turn has fanned the flames of divisiveness and hate in our communities that we are currently witnessing.

“The Amnesty International report on toxic Twitter pointed out that black women are 84 percent more likely to experience racist abuse online than anyone else.

“So the question to the minister is quite simply this: what real steps is she going to take urgently?

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“And I mean, absolutely no-one, is able to post any racist abuse online at all.”

But Ms Atkins brutally hit back at the former Labour leader, she slammed: “Mr Speaker, I suspect I am not the only person who has felt a little bit astonished that it is this right honourable member who has chosen to ask that question about taking immediate action to tackle racism.

“I remind the house of the findings of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission.

“Under his watch Labour has unlawfully discriminated against harassed or victimised people because they are Jewish.

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“And I am also reminded that a Jewish female MP had to have Police protection at his party conference because of fears of her own safety.

“So I will listen to many, many people about tackling racism.

“I will work with pretty much anyone.

“But I must say I will take a long spoon on which to suck with this particular member!”

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Following an investigation by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission after complaints of rampant anti-Semitism in the party, Labour were found to have acted unlawfully.

In a statement, the Commission said: “Our investigation found that the Labour Party has committed unlawful acts.

“The Labour Party is now legally obliged to draft an action plan to tackle the unlawful act findings we made. This should be based on our recommendations.

“Once the action plan is agreed, we will continue to monitor it. If the Labour Party fails to live up to its commitments in the legally binding action plan, then we may take enforcement action.”

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