One of the UK’s first female British-Ghanian MPs has expressed her concerns about racism within the Labour Party after the leaking of an internal document also alleging a culture of bullying and anti-Semitism among party members.

In a statement put out after the 860-page internal investigation was leaked to the public, Erith and Thamesmead MP Abena Oppong-Asare welcomed Labour leader Keir Starmer’s move to launch an independent inquiry into the release of the document, and said she would raise her concerns personally with him at a meeting this week.

The bombshell report alleges the misuse of funds, as well as alleged undermining of the 2017 election campaign and attempts to investigate anti-Semitism in the party.

It also contains examples of savage criticism of senior party figures, with Diane Abbott, a black MP who served as Shadow Home Secretary from 2016 to 2020, the repeated target of senior staffers.

In messages between staff members contained in the report, one staffer is said to have “engaged in a classic racist trope” by referring to the Hackney North MP as an “angry woman”.

Another staffer described Ms Abbott, who individually received almost half of all online abuse directed at women MPs in the 2017 election campaign, as “repulsive”. 

Other conversations showed staffers asking one another whether they should tell a Channel 4 journalist of an incident where Ms Abbott was found crying in the toilets after being abused in 2017.

Ms Oppong-Asare, who became one of the first two female British Ghanian MPs alongside Bell Ribeiro-Addy after both were elected last year, said she was “incredibly concerned” about the impact of the allegations raised in the report.

“Personally I have concerns about the sections of the report that highlight a culture of racism towards black individuals in the party,” Ms Oppong-Asere said.

“I am incredibly concerned about the impact this is having on the mental health of all those who have raised concerns about the racism, sexism, bullying, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in our party.”

She said she planned to raise her views at a party meeting due to be held this week with party leader Keir Starmer and all black and minority ethnicity (BAME) members.

“The only way we can address inequality is through diversity,” she said.

“I am confident that by working together we can make our party and our movement a fairer, more equal and inclusive place for all.”