A newsreader was bombarded with sexist and racist abuse after she decided not to wear a poppy on air.

ITV News London presenter Charlene White was branded a "black c***" or a "fat slag" or told her to "go back to where you came from".

White said she supported the armed forces, having family who have served, but chose to remain impartial while on-screen.

But she has been subjected to a "widespread" backlash online, she said.


Charlene White
I support British Legion. My dad was RAF. I don't wear poppy b/c I disagree with 1 charity getting more ON SCREEN time than others I support

Social media users called her a "black c***" or a "fat slag" or told her to "go back to where you came from".

She said the insults "fly in the face" of everything that British soldiers have fought for.

"In the last few days I've been subjected to a torrent of racist and sexist abuse as a result of me choosing not to wear a poppy on-screen, while presenting for ITV News," she wrote on the broadcaster's website.

"It was a decision I made a number of years ago, but the backlash this year has been far bigger and more widespread than it has been in previous years.

"I support, and am patron of, a number of charities and I am uncomfortable with giving one of those charities more on-screen time than others.

"I prefer to be neutral and impartial on-screen so that one of those charities doesn't feel less favoured than another.
"Off-screen in my private life, it's different. I wear a red ribbon at the start of December for World Aids Day, a pink ribbon in October during breast cancer awareness month, a badge in April during Bowel Cancer Awareness month, and yes - a poppy on Armistice Day.

"I respect and hold in high esteem those in the armed forces. Both my father and my uncle have served in the RAF and the Army.

"Every year I donate to the Poppy Appeal because, above all else, it is a charity that needs donations, so that it can continue to help support serving and ex-servicemen and women and their families.

"The messages of 'go back to where you came from' have been interesting to read, as have the 'fat slag' comments, and the repeated use of the phrase 'black c***'.

"Mostly because it flies in the face of everything that millions of British men and women and those in the Commonwealth have fought for for generations, and continue to fight for: the right to choose, and the right of freedom of speech and expression."

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