Home Video Worse than being booed, she was ridiculed: ROBERT HARDMAN on yet another...

Worse than being booed, she was ridiculed: ROBERT HARDMAN on yet another humiliation for Diane Abbott as she gets LOST on stage at the Police Federation conference

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As Diane Abbott left the stage after earlier becoming lost, pictured right top and bottom, the audience hooted. ‘You couldn’t script that. What a joke!’ said the chap behind me. ‘What a car crash,’ said his neighbour. It’s not a term this crowd use lightly. She had come to show that, for all her floundering fluster when quizzed about her numbers on that famously disastrous radio interview the other week, here was a statesperson on top of her brief. Unfortunately, many in the stalls had come expecting some sort of comedy turn. They were not to be disappointed. By the end of a 40-minute session during which Ms Abbott rattled off her prepared text with all the rhetorical flourish of a bored cattle auctioneer, told police officers that they couldn’t catch nasty diseases from people who spit in their faces, and then walked the wrong way off the stage, she departed to that most corrosive of audience reactions: ridicule