BAME Labour MPs Accuse Priti Patel Of 'Gaslighting' In Racism Debate

But the home secretary said she would not be silenced on the issue.

A group of BAME Labour MPs have accused Priti Patel of using her own experiences of racism “to gaslight the very real racism faced by Black people”.

It follows an exchange between the home secretary and Labour’s Florence Eshalomi about the Black Lives Matter movement, in which Patel said she would not take lectures from the opposition “when it comes to racism, sexism, tolerance for social justice”.

Labour MP Florence Eshalomi
Labour MP Florence Eshalomi
London Portrait Photoqrapher-DAVID WOOLFALL

But in a letter, a group of more than 30 Labour MPs led by Naz Shah told Patel: “Being a person of colour does not automatically make you an authority on all forms of racism.”

They wrote: “Our shared experiences allow us to feel the pain that communities feel, when they face racism, they allow us to show solidarity towards a common cause; they do not allow us to define, silence or impede on the feelings that other minority groups may face.”

The group – which included former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, Clive Lewis and Rosena Allin-Khan – said the cabinet minister should consider the impact of her words on Black communities “trying to highlight their voices against racism”.

But on Twitter, Patel said she was “sad” to have received the letter.

“I will not be silenced by @UKLabour MPs who continue to dismiss the contributions of those who don’t conform to their view of how ethnic minorities should behave,” she wrote.


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