UKIP supporters were in the firing line Tuesday after it emerged that members of a prominent supporters page on Facebook racially and sexually abused Black Labour MP Diane Abbott.
The hateful language came as a response to Abbott posting Calais solidarity photographs with refugees on her Twitter account. In one of the photographs, the Labour MP is holding a placard reading “Refugees Welcome Here,” which was taken over the weekend as she visited Calais.
Abbott currently serves as Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Secretary of State for International Development and became the first Black woman to hold a seat at the House of Commons in the 1987 general election.
She has long been an anti-racist campaigner and once pointed out that the British “invented” modern racism through its global empire.
The Facebook UKIP Supporter’s Group shared the photo with the caption: “Please rape me first.”
Hundreds of people liked the post with dozens directing racist and sexist abuse at Abbott. The comments include one Facebook user telling Abbott to “sod off” to “the jungle” and another saying the Labour MP “wants raping.”
The UKIP Supporter’s Group regularly features anti-migrant and anti-refugee comments on its page. In a different post from Monday featuring a video of migrants and refugees in Germany, one user refers to them as “ungrateful bastards” while another calls to “deport them all.”
Those in the video are also referred to as “animals,” “scumbags” and “total filth.” Some users even call for the “lot” to be shot or burnt alive.
While the Facebook group is not officially connected to UKIP, the party has also been caught up in a string of similar controversies of its own over the past couple of years.
In January 2014, former UKIP councillor David Silvester blamed gay marriage for the floods that hit the nation in 2013.
Party leader Nigel Farage was also forced to issue a public apology in May 2014 after saying he would be “concerned” if a “group” of Romanians moved next door to him.
In the same month, councillor Dave Small was expelled from the party for homosexual comments directed at Elton John, who he called a “pervert,” as well as branding African migrants “scroungers” and publicly complaining that Eastern Europeans, Pakistanis and Poles are “everywhere.”
UKIP MEP Bill Etheridge also caused a media storm when he praised Adolf Hitler, referring to the former German dictator as “forceful” while another UKIP MEP referred to a UKIP party supporter of East Asian descent as a “ting tong from everywhere.”
Neither Diane Abbott or UKIP have commented on Tuesday’s incident.