A TORY MP was recorded using the racist term “nigger” yesterday during a speech about Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.
Anne Marie Morris, who represents Newton Abbot, was joined by fellow Tory MPs John Redwood and Bill Cash in a London panel discussion about the future of Brexit organised by the right-wing think tank Politeia.
At the exclusive East India Club in Westminster, Ms Morris was discussing the prospect of Britain leaving the EU without a deal when she called it a “real nigger in the woodpile.”
The remark, which passed without protest from her fellow panellists or the audience, was captured on a recording by news website the Huffington Post.
The Tories suspended the whip from Ms Morris late yesterday, but Labour said she should be kicked out completely.
Labour co-national campaign co-ordinator Andrew Gwynne condemned the comment as “outrageous and totally unacceptable.”
He added: “While the Conservative Party has tabled a debate on Wednesday to apparently discuss and condemn abuse of candidates in the general election, these comments prove their hypocrisy.
“Theresa May once spoke about changing the Tories’ ‘nasty party’ tag. If she’s serious about that, she will admit it’s not enough for the Tories to ‘investigate’ and will apologise and act immediately.
“If that means withdrawing the whip, that’s what they should do.”
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, for her part, tweeted: “No place in our politics for racism, full stop.”
Following the release of the recording, Ms Morris said her comment had been “entirely unintentional” and that she apologised “unreservedly for any offence caused.”
A Conservative Party spokesperson said: “We are aware of these reports. This kind of language is completely unacceptable and we are urgently investigating.”
It is unclear at this stage how far the party will go in its investigation.
History shows the Tories can be unwilling to enforce disciplinary action against the use of racist language.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson faced no action after he referred to black people as “piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles” in a 2002 column published in the Daily Telegraph.
Ms Morris’s partner and electoral agent Roger Kendrick was also embroiled in racially charged scandal recently, when he claimed: “The crisis in education was due entirely to non-British born immigrants and their high birth rates,” during general election hustings in Newton Abbot earlier this year.
In response, Ms Morris said: “I don’t share the views expressed by Roger Kendrick.”