What global warming, tweets Hackney MP Abbott

DIANE ABBOTT has again tripped up on Twitter. The MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington showed a misunderstanding of global-warming theory that is surprising in a politician who once tried to lead the Labour Party.

She tweeted, on 4 April 2013: “Snow bucketing down in Central London. I cannot believe this weather. Where is #GlobalWarming when you need it?”

When other users of the social-media forum breezed in to counter her seemingly simplistic understanding of global-warming theory, she thanked them for explaining how melting ice caps and other factors meant cold weather in the British Isles.

She also said her initial comment “was a joke”, adding “#Sigh”.

This is not the first time the Shadow Public Health Minister has stumbled on Twitter.  The forum’s insistence on short messages has made it notorious for dull inanities. But if serious subjects are being discussed, Twitter requires the skill of clarity.

Last year, however,  the Cambridge University history graduate had to resort to saying that a tweet that was claimed to have been racist had been “taken out of context”.

Labour colleague and Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna publicly rebuked her, saying that party leader Ed Miliband had told the Shadow Health Minister her remarks were “unacceptable” and she apologised  “for any offence caused”.

Abbott declined to comment. She also tweeted on 12 April 2013 about a Stonewall equality dinner at the Dorchester in London. Later the glamour of the occasion must have overwhelmed the MP as she seemed more interested in having met a celebrity than the equality cause, tweeting: “@therealgokwan Lovely to meet you. It was a great evening. pic.twitter.com/2SMLDHkh5q”.

The photograph, of her with Wan, appeared also on her Facebook page twice, in one case captioned “Gok Wan’s glasses!”

David Altheer

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