Earlier today, shadow public health minister Diane Abbott tweeted: ”White people love playing ‘divide & rule'”.

Abbott was responding to criticisms of how the media has been calling on a host of “black community leaders” to give their reactions after the Stephen Lawrence trial.

However the tweet was met with anger and was branded racist in itself.

Things continues to go wrong for Abbott today as she attempted to apologise for the Twitter comment in an interview with Sky News. Half way through explaining herself, Abbott phone rang and she dashed away from the reporter.

Apparently Abbott was forced to dash because it was Labour leader Ed Miliband himself on the phone, supposedly to request that she refrain from further damaging the party line.

 Labour’s Chuka Umunna said party leader Ed Miliband had told Ms Abbott her remarks were “unacceptable”.

In a statement, Ms Abbott said: “I apologise for any offence caused.

“I understand people have interpreted my comments as making generalisations about white people. I do not believe in doing that.”

A Labour spokesperson said that Abbott’s tweet was not a reflection on the party as a whole, saying in a statement: “We disagree with Diane’s tweet. It is wrong to make sweeping generalisations about any race, creed, or culture. The Labour Party has always campaigned against such behaviour – and so has Diane Abbott.”

What do you think – serious race issue or storm in a Twitter teacup?