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Bookmaker apologises after 'casual racism' over Abbott photo

VICTIM: Diane Abbott

BOOKMAKERS STAR Sports has apologised after posting a picture of a man in blackface mocking Diane Abbott on Twitter.

The tweet, which has since been deleted, was posted on Friday (Dec 15) and showed a man dressed as Diane Abbott in blackface at a darts competition holding up a sign reading 190.

The sign was a reference to the shadow home secretary's blunder with policing numbers in a radio interview during the General Election campaign.

The maximum score with three darts is 180.

"An early contender for best fancy dress costume at the #PDC #WorldDartsChampionships tonight at #AllyPally," was the caption.

Stella Creasy, the Labour MP for Walthamstow, responded to the tweet, saying: "Wow @StarSports_Bet - guess it says what you really think of your customers that you promote this..hoping @Yourallypally expect better about those using their beautiful venue …as bookies or punters… #21stcenturycalling."

However, the bookmakers defended itself at first, responding: "This wasn't some guerrilla marketing stunt Stella, one of our team attended on a social night out. We thought it was a very impressive attempt at fancy dress and merely shared it with our followers. Please stop taking things so seriously."

PICTURED: The image that was shared on Star Sports Bookmakers' Twitter page on Friday

Ms Creasy then responded, calling the bookmakers out for "promoting casual racism".

According to Sky News Star Sports Bookmakers said they would be making no further comment, but later apologised for sharing the image.

"On Friday evening we tweeted a photo taken at the darts featuring a member of the audience dressed in a Diane Abbott costume," the firm said on Sunday (Dec 17).

"It was not meant to cause offense (sic) with the humorous element in our eyes being the '190' scribbled on the sign.

"We have since removed the photo and would like to apologise to all those who were offended by it."

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