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Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield under investigation for liking Father Ted writer’s tweet claims Labour leader ‘won’t speak to her’

A Labour MP has hit back at her party leader Sir Keir Starmer who she says “has not spoken to me” while she is under investigation for anti-semitism.

Rosie Duffield, who represents Canterbury, is under the cosh from her party for liking a post on X, formerly Twitter, from Father Ted writer Graham Linehan.

Rosie Duffield claims she hasn't spoken with Keir Starmer for two years
Rosie Duffield claims she hasn't spoken with Keir Starmer for two years

Now the 53-year-old has come out saying she is yet to hear an apology for the abuse she received for speaking out against anti-semitism.

Speaking with Camilla Tominey on GB News today, she said: “I've never had an apology for the kind of three or four years of absolute hatred I received from the left wing of the party for standing up against anti-semitism.

“It was horrendous. There were female MPs mostly who were deselected and found that they couldn't carry on, it was so awful. I'm not Jewish, so it wasn't as bad for me. I got so much abuse for standing up for my Jewish colleagues.

“It would be nice to know that he's got the back of MPs who have this kind of thing. It's not nice. We get a lot of abuse, women get a lot of abuse.

“We're getting a lot of abuse over the Middle East crisis on either side, so it would be nice to feel that we're more sort of a together group that he feels that he's maybe supporting a bit more broadly.”

Rosie Duffield feels she is being “ostracised” by the party
Rosie Duffield feels she is being “ostracised” by the party

The backlash started last week when it was announced the only Labour MP in Kent was under investigation for liking a post by Mr Linehan back in March who was replying to a tweet from comedian Eddie Izzard, who has launched a bid to become an MP.

The original post said: “I’m a trans superhero — but if I’d lived in Nazi Germany I’d have been murdered for it.”

The Irish comedy writer, who describes himself as a women’s rights campaigner, responded: “Ah, yes, the Nazis, famously bigoted against straight white men with blonde hair.”

Ms Duffield later unliked the tweet to “avoid being controversial” but last week she was said to be under investigation and not among the Labour Party’s list of approved candidates despite being selected by the local party group, according to reports.

KentOnline has tried speaking to her about the investigations but the MP has not responded to our requests for comment.

Meanwhile, the Labour Party itself also refused to comment when approached by KentOnline regarding Ms Duffield’s selection.

I've never had an apology for the kind of absolute hatred I received

Ms Duffield recently claimed leader Sir Keir Starmer and the party had ostracised her for her stance on trans rights, likening being in the Labour party “to an abusive relationship” and has been branded transphobic for supporting online criticism of a tweet saying “only women have a cervix” – she also claims it has been years since she and the party leader have spoken.

She said: “We last spoke in September 2021, just before our conference, amid a big controversy about me liking a tweet again.”

“It would be really nice to have some support at some point. It really, really would be nice to have a conversation to understand what he thinks about all of this and to understand if he's going to support women more vocally who now in my case, I line up with the party's change of policy.

“So I don't really understand what I'm supposed to have done so wrong. I mean, that wasn't an anti-semitic tweet, and I withdrew my like in case it offended anyone.

“But all of my Jewish friends, and the reason I think this [story] probably got out is because, as part of the case that's been going on for nine months, I've had to approach people to give me statements.

Keir Starmer Leader of the Labour party. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA
Keir Starmer Leader of the Labour party. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA

“Jewish friends and allies in the Lords, in the Commons and in bodies like the board of deputies to write a statement supporting me and to say that I'm not anti-semitic. So I suspect that's where this story came from.”

Ms Duffield has campaigned against people with male genitalia who identify as women being allowed to enter female-only spaces such as changing rooms and prisons and has won support from Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

The Kent MP is understood to currently not be on the party’s approved list of candidates to stand at the next general election.

She is reported to have responded to the allegations at length and denies all the charges against her.

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