LABOUR MP Sarah Champion resigned as shadow women and equalities secretary yesterday amid accusations of racism over a recent newspaper article about child abuse.
She apologised for her “extremely poor choice of words” in an article in the Sun last week, in which she wrote: “Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls.”
After she was accused of “fanning the flames of Islamophobia,” Ms Champion initially tried to distance herself from the article, saying it should not have gone out in her name.
However, the Sun hit back at Ms Champion’s claims that the copy had been altered to strip away the nuances, insisting that the article had been approved by her team.
In a statement, she said: “I am concerned that my continued position in the shadow cabinet would distract from the crucial issues around child protection I have campaigned on my entire political career.
“It is therefore with regret I tender my resignation as shadow secretary of state for women and equalities.”
Ms Champion also claimed in a Radio 4 interview last week that “potential cases of child abuse are not being raised because people fear being labelled racist.”
The comments were condemned as “irresponsible” by Labour MP Naz Shah, who stated that “90 per cent of child sexual abusers were white men.”
And the Rotherham MP acknowledged that she was bound to face criticism.
“The far right will attack me for not doing enough and the floppy left will have a go at me for being a racist,” she told the BBC.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “I have accepted Sarah Champion’s resignation and thank her for her work in the shadow cabinet. I look forward to working together in the future.”