- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 20, 2019

British politician Diane Abbott apologized Friday after a photograph emerged of her illegally drinking alcohol on a London train car.

“A photo of me drinking from a can of M&S mojito on the Overground has been circulated. I’m sincerely sorry for drinking on TFL,” said Ms. Abbott, a member of the Labour Party serving since 2016 as the U.K. shadow home secretary.

TFL, or Transport for London, has prohibited passengers from drinking alcohol on buses and trains operated by the agency since 2008.

British tabloids identified the beverage as an eight ounce “ready to drink” Marks and Spencer canned mojito containing roughly two measures of white rum.

The daughter of Jamaican immigrants, Ms. Abbott faced a ribbing on Twitter from fellow Labour Party member David Lammy for her choice of beverage.



“Sorry for what? Why wasn’t the rum Jamaican,” Mr. Lammy asked.

Ms. Abbott faced harsher reactions from critics who questioned her political ambitions, however.

“As someone who aspires to be Home Secretary, Diane Abbott should know better,” said Susan Hall, a member of the London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee.

“How can she have any credibility if she’s willing to break the law? Ms. Hall asked, The Sun reported. “This is typical of a Labour politician; one rule for them and another for everyone else.”

Ms. Abbott, 65, has represented Hackney North and Stoke Newington since 1987 when she became the first black woman elected to British parliament. Her role as shadow home secretary effectively makes her the Labour Party member in charge of scrutinizing U.K Home Secretary Sajid Javid, a member of Prime Minister Theresa May’s controlling Conservative Party.

Boris Johnson, a Conservative member of Parliament, introduced the alcohol ban while mayor of London, The Sun reported.

“I firmly believe that banning the drinking of alcohol on London’s public transport will create a better traveling environment for all Londoners,” Mr. Johnson said at the time.

Alcohol is allowed on trains in most of the U.K. besides London and served on some, The Sun noted.

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