But Abbott’s office told HuffPost UK that she was dealing with the breaking news that fellow Labour MP Lisa Nandy’s Urgent Commons Question on the child sex abuse inquiry chaos had just been granted by Speaker Bercow.
“She talked briefly on her phone after receiving a call, but then because she didn’t want to disrupt the event, she used email to correspond with her office about the Urgent Question,” her spokeswoman said.
“She decided not to leave the table but instead use her phone. It was not to text, browse, or show disrespect.”
Her office added that Abbott felt it would have been disrespectful to leave the ceremony and that the bulk of her time on the phone was spent on emails rather than talking directly.
Straight after the event, she returned to her Commons office to prepare for the Parliamentary question session.
Abbott represented Labour on the frontbench for the Urgent Commons question a few hours later, where she pressed Home Secretary Amber Rudd on the chaotic state of the child sex abuse inquiry and the departure of former chair Dame Lowell Goddard.
Abbott’s allies point out that she has consistently backed the Hillsborough families’ campaign. Andy Burnham, her predecessor as Shadow Home Secretary, played a key role in pushing the issue in Parliament.
Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2016/10/18/diane-abbott-hillsborough-awards-ceremony-women-of-the-year-theresa-may-disrespect_n_12535602.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-politics&ir=UK+Politics