UK

Diane Abbott Labelled Jeremy Corbyn's 'Former Lover' In Daily Telegraph Tweet, Triggering Accusations Of Sexism

30/11/2015 11:12 GMT | Updated 30/11/2015 16:59 GMT

Social media users have called out the Daily Telegraph for a tweet referring to Hackney MP and Shadow International Development Diane Abbott as "Corbyn's former lover".

Abbott has risen with the Labour leader from backbencher to prominent Shadow Cabinet member, becoming one of his most trusted and prominent allies since he took over the party in September.

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But the paper's Twitter account decided the MP's biggest claim to fame was her relationship with Corbyn more than 30 years ago, before either had entered mainstream politics, in a tweet linking to a story about a traffic scheme in her constituency.

While many laughed, others called out the paper for everyday sexism.

The Brighton branch of the Women's Equality Party, called the tweet "disgraceful" and said it was campaigning for "equality in the media and an end to this sort of sexism".

The online headline on the story only referred to her as Diane Abbott" though the first sentence referred to her as: "Diane Abbott, the left wing Labour MP who once had a fling with Jeremy Corbyn".

The story, referring to her as "Darling of the Left," reports Abbott's backing for a traffic filtering scheme to produce a "cleaner, greener Hackney", despite a petition opposing it attracting hundreds of signatures.

The article suggests Abbott's motivation may be boosting her own home, though a source within the piece rubbishes the claim, saying: "She isn’t thinking of selling so that has nothing to do with it."

People on Twitter also were not sure the claim was likely.