Left Watch

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The "hard left", "arrogant", "hypocritical" Diane Abbott isn't good enough to be Labour leader and David Miliband is "patronising" women by pretending she is

In her News of the World column Carole Malone accuses Labour of patronising women by including the hard left Diane Abbott in the race to succeed Gordon Brown:

"What's really annoying about Abbott's nomination is that she - and everyone else - keep banging on about how great it is to have a black candidate who's a woman in the running. I'm sorry, but it doesn't matter a TOSS what colour or sex Ms Abbott is. All that matters is whether she's good enough to lead New Labour out of oblivion. And frankly, I don't believe she is."

"Pundits and politicians keep telling us how Abbott's presence will enrich the debate, how it will liven things up a bit, how she'll never win but it's good that a woman's voice is being heard - and a black woman's voice at that. Could they be more damned patronising? So what are these supposedly forward-thinking people saying - that a woman's place in politics is just to be SEEN to be there - presumably to detract attention from the fact that it's white middle class blokes running the show?"

"And while I'm all for them having top jobs in government they cannot be put up for those jobs simply because they are women. They have to be there because they're the best people for the job. And if there aren't any good women around, that's surely got to be the clarion call for all women passionate about politics but who aren't currently involved to get off their backsides and hotfoot it to Westminster. Because if all we've got are women like Diane Abbott - women who are being pushed for all the wrong reasons - we're in trouble. Her hard Left politics appeal to very few people, even in her own party and, while she's undoubtedly intelligent, she's also arrogant, she's got a chip on her shoulder and she's totally dismissive of other people's opinions. Oh, and she's also a hypocrite who spent years ranting about the evils of private education only to send her own son to a private school using the lame excuse: "I was a single mum just trying to do the best for my son.""

Read Malone's full column in the News of the World.

Tim Montgomerie