Diane Abbott slams ‘absurd’ fuss over Obama’s birthplace

MP Diane Abbott has hit out at the ‘birther movement’ which maintains US President Barack Obama was not born in America as “absurd”.

The President has released a copy of his birth certificate proving that he was born in Hawaii, which is part of the USA declaring: “We do not have time for this kind of silliness.”

The latest furore over the place of his birth and hence his eligibility to serve as US President has reached a crescendo as tycoon Donald Trump considers running as a Republican candidate in the next presidential election.

Hackney North and Stoke Newington Labour MP Diane Abbott said: “It is sad that the so-called ‘birther’ movement, which maintains the President was not born in Hawaii, has been allowed to reach this stage. It is quite absurd.

“It is shocking that figures suggest that around half of Republicans either think Barack Obama was not born in the US or are not sure.”

Ms Abbott who is shadow health minister and ran in last year’s Labour leadership campaign added: “The focus on President Obama’s nationality, at a time of great consequence for America, has been a way of delegitimizing Obama and his work.

Some of the discourse around this debate has been troubling and uncomfortable.

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“I think this will be a real blow for Trump.”

Ms Abbott who became the first black woman MP when she was elected to Parliament in 1987 commented: “I only hope that the UK can learn from this sorry episode, and can help us to move away from the focus on personality above policy in our politics.”