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Frank Hester, the largest single donor to the Conservative Party in the last year, allegedly told colleagues that Diane Abbott “should be shot” and that seeing her on TV makes you “want to hate all black women”.

Hester has donated £10m to the Tories in the last year, giving them £5m in September 2023 and a further £5m in February 2024. He runs the healthcare technology firm the Phoenix Partnership.

The revelations about Hester’s comments come through an exclusive story published by the Guardian.

The Guardian’s report comes after an investigation it conducted through interviews with former employees of the firm.

According to the Guardian, Hester said of an executive of another organisation: “She’s shit. She’s the shittest person. Honestly I try not to be sexist but when I meet somebody like [the executive], I just…

“It’s like trying not to be racist but you see Diane Abbott on the TV, and you’re just like I hate, 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.

“[The executive] and Diane Abbott need to be shot. She’s stupid … If we can get [the executive] being unprofessional we can get her sacked. It’s not as good as her dying. It would be much better if she died. She’s consuming resource. She’s eating food that other people could eat. You know?”

Abbott is the longest serving black MP in the UK, and was the first black woman elected to parliament. In 2017, a report found that Abbott received almost half of all abusive tweets sent to women MPs.

According to the Guardian, Hester also said in a meeting with colleagues that “we take the piss out of the fact that all our Chinese girls sit together in Asian corner”, having also said that staff’s progress at work wouldn’t be “based on the colour of your skin, your ethnicity, where your parents are from”.

The Guardian has said that “[The Phoenix Partnership’s] lawyers said the company fostered a diverse and inclusive workplace with a significant proportion of staff from minority ethnic backgrounds, and that Hester’s comments had been distorted and taken out of context, and were not a true or accurate characterisation of the company or Hester.”

The Guardian’s report also said that: “Hester was conscious that many of his employees from Asia were young and isolated, and he wanted to make them feel welcome and encourage them to integrate. They added that TPP offered to fly Asian employees back to their families in business class when lockdowns were lifted during the Covid pandemic.”

The Conservative Party were approached for comment by the Guardian but did not comment.

The Sunday Times Rich List has estimated Hester’s net wealth at £415m.

Chris Jarvis is head of strategy and development at Left Foot Forward

The post Biggest Tory donor said that Diane Abbott ‘should be shot’ appeared first on Left Foot Forward: Leading the UK’s progressive debate.

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