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PM criticised after holding Black History Month event

NUMBER 10 RECEPTION: Prime Minister Theresa May hosted a Black History Month celebration this week

PRIME MINISTER Theresa May hosted black Britons at Number 10 for a special reception to mark Black History Month this week. But the celebratory event, which comes at a time when the Windrush scandal is still making the headlines, has not been seen as a positive initiative by many.

Accompanying a tweet of a selection of photos from the reception, May said: “I am proud to be a supporter of Black History Month – and to celebrate the immense contribution of African and Caribbean people without whom our country wouldn’t be the country it is today.”

A number of online commenters replied to her tweet by highlighting the how the government has failed members of the Windrush Generation, a scandal that has been in the headlines since the summer.

Twitter user Barbara Muldoon, said: “You rewarded their contribution by having them delisted from their GPs, refused cancer treatment, bank accounts closed, benefits stopped, driving licenses revoked, thrown out of their homes, sacked from their jobs, locked in detention centres and forcibly removed from the country.”

Another described the statement as “beyond insulting”.

Writer and poet Michael Rosen replied with one tweet which simply repeated the words “Windrush” and “scandal” over and over again.

One Twitter user, who said they attended the event, used the social media site to share their disparaging review: “I went to this and it was terrible. Theresa May got a bunch of black people with no real connections to each other in a room and spun a load of rhetoric and lies. Using my black face as a political prop is so trash. But I’m really not surprised.”

Although May’s comment attracted accusations of hypocrisy online, there were positive reviews from some of the attendees.

One guest at the event, Anderson Boyce, CEO and co-founder of Hairforce 1, a barbershop training academy, shared his feelings on the event on social media.

He said: “It was an honour being invited back to Number 10 Downing Street for yesterday's Black History Month event. A top class event from the food right up to Mrs May’s speech. There was a lot of excellence in the room and it was a pleasure to be amongst. Shouts out to Ade Adepitan, Giggs, Paul Williams, Michael Dapaah and everyone else I had the pleasure of speaking with.”

Supermodel Naomi Campbell was also in attendance at the event, which was held at the prime minister’s residence on Monday (October 15).

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