The home secretary Priti Patel has received a furious backlash after she was accused of 'gaslighting' the Black Lives Matter discussion by using her own experiences with racism.
A letter signed by 32 BAME Labour MPs accused Patel of trying to silence other MPs on the topic of racism after she said in the Commons earlier this week that she would "not take lectures from the other side of the house" because she had been racially abused when she was a child.
The letter which featured the names of Diane Abbott, Rosena Allin-Khan, Dawn Butler and Clive Lewis, to name a few, expressed "dismay" with Patel after she said:
When it comes to racism, sexism, tolerance for social just, I will not take lectures from the other side of the House.
In response the letter states:
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 feeling that other minority groups may face.
Being a person of colour does not automatically make you an authority on all forms of racism.
Patel shared the letter on Twitter, admitting that she was 'sad' to have received and reiterated that she would not be silenced.
Sad to have just received this letter.
I will not be silenced by @UKLabour MPs who continue to dismiss the contri… https://t.co/qzTQHgR7vH
Patel's latest act of defiance against the accusations from the Labour has prompted further outrage and responses from Labour MPs and other notable figures calling for her to take action on certain issues, such as the Windrush scandal.
Priti we are not trying to silence you. I want you to speak out & share your experience of racism. But you were try… https://t.co/bolUGHkCh6
However, Patel appears to have received an overwhelming amount of support from her fellow Tory MPs, with Matt Hancock adding that he abhorred 'this divisive identity politics' being labeled at the home secretary.
I abhor this divisive identity politics that’s being levelled at @PritiPatel.
I’m proud to be part of the most div… https://t.co/xcQXAvqKEn
Earlier this week, Patel called the removal of the statue of slave trader, Edward Colston in Bristol "utterly disgraceful" which led to the mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, claiming that Patel had showed "a lack of understanding" on the subject.