Labour’s hard-left candidate for Home Secretary Diane Abbott’s privately educated son has appeared in court over a raft of charges including allegedly assaulting staff at London hospitals and exposing himself over the course of 2019.
James Abbott-Thompson was granted bail at the hearing at Wood Green crown court on Tuesday after the court heard about 11 separate charges related to attacks and other alleged offences which are said to have taken place between July and Christmas 2019.
The former civil servant, who had served as a diplomat with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office after joining the government department as a graduate from Cambridge University is accused of several assaults, some of which were against members of the emergency services which in British law can carry harsher penalties.
Among the charges Abbott-Thompson will be tried on during the case are assaulting two police officers in July 2019, assaulting a doctor in August 2019, beating a nurse and engaging in “racially or religiously aggravated criminal damage” in November 2019, assaulting a police officer the following day in November, and assaulting a therapist in December 2019. These new charges follow others laid against Mr Abbott-Thompson in December 2019 when he was accused of biting a police officer at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.
Abbott-Thompson’s defence lawyer said his client intended to plead not guilty to the charges, reports The Times.
James Abbott-Thompson’s mother, Labour’s Diane Abbott is the shadow foreign secretary, one of the most senior positions for opposition parties and would be responsible for law and order, and policing should Labour win a general election. If convicted, a criminal son could be politically embarrassing for Ms Abbott.
The assaults are not the first time James Abbott-Thompson has caught the headlines. As a child, he was sent to a private school by Diane Abbott, a move which was seen as deeply hypocritical given Labour’s hard-line opposition to private education and criticism of senior Conservative figures for having gone to private schools.
She attempted to defend the decision by explaining “West Indian mothers will go to the wall for their children”, which caused a racist storm as the statement suggested mothers of other ethnicities cared less about their children.