/Labour leadership hopeful Rebecca Long-Bailey calls British press racist over Meghan Markle

Labour leadership hopeful Rebecca Long-Bailey calls British press racist over Meghan Markle

Labour leadership contender Rebecca Long-Bailey has claimed ‘there is a racist double-standard’ over how the British press has treated Meghan Markle.

Ms Long-Bailey, the so-called ‘Corbyn continuity’ candidate, vowed to ‘fight’ what she called a ‘toxic combination of sexism and racism’.

The 40-year-old MP for Salford and Eccles tweeted: ‘Let’s be honest, there is a racist double-standard in how the press treat Meghan Markle.

Ms Long-Bailey (pictured on Saturday), the so-called 'Corbyn continuity' candidate, made links to Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott in a flurry of tweets that vowed to 'fight' a 'toxic combination of sexism and racism'

Ms Long-Bailey (pictured on Saturday), the so-called 'Corbyn continuity' candidate, made links to Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott in a flurry of tweets that vowed to 'fight' a 'toxic combination of sexism and racism'

Ms Long-Bailey (pictured on Saturday), the so-called ‘Corbyn continuity’ candidate, made links to Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott in a flurry of tweets that vowed to ‘fight’ a ‘toxic combination of sexism and racism’

The 40-year-old MP for Salford and Eccles posted: 'Let's be honest, there is a racist double-standard in how the press treat Meghan Markle'

The 40-year-old MP for Salford and Eccles posted: 'Let's be honest, there is a racist double-standard in how the press treat Meghan Markle'

The 40-year-old MP for Salford and Eccles posted: ‘Let’s be honest, there is a racist double-standard in how the press treat Meghan Markle’

‘Women of colour in public life are subject to bullying, harassment, disrespect and smears – and all the while are expected to be grateful that they’re getting any attention at all.

‘In our party we’ve seen how Diane Abbott has been vilified by the right wing press.

‘Her litany of groundbreaking achievements – a welder’s daughter who made it to Cambridge, becoming the first black woman in the House of Commons – are routinely ignored.

‘The toxic combination of sexism and racism that runs rife through the right-wing press must be stopped.’

She added: ‘As leader of the Labour Party, I will do everything I can to fight it.’

It comes a day after Meghan and Prince Harry opted to ditch their HRH titles as their split from the Royal Family was finalised.

Meghan is pictured outside Canada House in London in central London earlier this month

Meghan is pictured outside Canada House in London in central London earlier this month

It comes a day after Meghan and Prince Harry opted to ditch their HRH titles as their split from the Royal Family was finalised

It comes a day after Meghan and Prince Harry opted to ditch their HRH titles as their split from the Royal Family was finalised

It comes a day after Meghan and Prince Harry (left and right) opted to ditch their HRH titles as their split from the Royal Family was finalised 

The Queen announced the changes in a heartfelt statement, adding the couple would forge a new life in Canada with baby Archie.

Ms Long-Bailey’s claims fly in the face of Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly, who earlier rubbished the idea the Duchess of Sussex has been subjected to racist coverage by the British press.

Mr Cleverly told Sophy Ridge on Sunday the UK is ‘one of the least racist, most open and welcoming countries in the world’.

Co-Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly told Sophy Ridge on Sunday Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has not been subject to racism

Co-Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly told Sophy Ridge on Sunday Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has not been subject to racism

Co-Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly told Sophy Ridge on Sunday Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has not been subject to racism 

The Tory MP insisted Meghan and Harry’s decision to step down as senior royals was down to the ‘huge amount of media interest’ the 38-year-old mother-of-one would have found ‘really difficult to deal with’.

But when asked if Meghan was the victim of racism, Mr Cleverly added: ‘I think this country is one of the least racist, one of the most open and welcoming countries in the world and that’s reinforced by things like the British Attitudes Survey and a whole load of international surveys about people’s acceptance of other races.

‘But she was subjected to a huge amount of media interest and that can be really difficult to deal with.’

Last week Home Secretary Priti Patel also disregarded claims Meghan faced racist press coverage.

She rejected suggestions racism has driven negative media reports about the Duchess of Sussex, saying she had not seen ‘things of that nature.’

The Home Secretary (pictured in London last week) rejected suggestions racism has driven negative media reports about the Duchess of Sussex saying she had not seen 'things of that nature'

The Home Secretary (pictured in London last week) rejected suggestions racism has driven negative media reports about the Duchess of Sussex saying she had not seen 'things of that nature'

The Home Secretary (pictured in London last week) rejected suggestions racism has driven negative media reports about the Duchess of Sussex saying she had not seen ‘things of that nature’

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Ms Patel said: ‘I’m not in that category at all where I believe there’s racism at all.

‘I think we live in a great country, a great society, full of opportunity, where people of any background can get on in life.’

Asked if the media had been in any way racist, she replied: ‘I don’t think so, no… I certainly haven’t seen that through any debates or commentary or things of that nature.’

Ms Long-Bailey this weekend defended her decision to speak out on abortion as she won the surprise backing of a top Tory for her stand.

In a defiant riposte, she hinted that her concerns had been ‘misrepresented’ in a bid to damage her bid to succeed Jeremy Corbyn.

Labour leadership contender Rebecca Long Bailey defended her decision to speak out on abortion as she won the surprise backing of a top Tory for her stand

Labour leadership contender Rebecca Long Bailey defended her decision to speak out on abortion as she won the surprise backing of a top Tory for her stand

Labour leadership contender Rebecca Long Bailey defended her decision to speak out on abortion as she won the surprise backing of a top Tory for her stand

There were also claims from fellow Catholic Labour MPs that she was the victim of attempts to use her faith to ‘smear her’.

But it emerged that one of her own campaign team had suggested that people with ‘regressive’ views on abortion should not be Prime Minister.

She found herself at the centre of a bitter Labour row last week after appearing to back stricter abortion laws.

Responding to a questionnaire from local Catholic churches during the General Election campaign, she said that she did ‘not agree’ with current rules allowing women to terminate their child on disability grounds after 24 weeks.

She said she backed the Disability Rights Commission’s view that ‘the context in which parents choose whether to have a child should be one in which disability and non-disability are valued equally’.

The Salford MP has now defended her remarks and hinted at the ‘Machiavellian’ way the story emerged.

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